Trees are essential for New York City. We need a shared vision, a plan, and more champions to protect and grow a forest for all.

Credit: Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

Credit: Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

Credit: Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

Trees are essential for New York City. We need a shared vision, a plan, and more champions to protect and grow a forest for all.

Our Vision

A healthy, biodiverse, robust, accessible, well-understood, and resilient urban forest that justly and equitably delivers its multiple benefits to all residents of New York City and helps the city adapt to and mitigate climate change.

What is the NYC Urban Forest?

The NYC urban forest is a unique, complex system that includes the more than 7 million trees across public and private property. These trees are found along streets and parkways, in front and backyards, parks and other natural areas.

The urban forest includes the soil and tree roots systems, biodiversity that live in this forest, people who take care of the trees, and the policy and funding that enables the urban forest to be sustained.

NYC’s 7 million trees provide countless benefits, including:

• Enhance quality of life and improve public health by cleaning the air, providing shade and cooling on hot days, and reducing heat-related and respiratory illness

 

• Help New York adapt to climate change by cooling the city, providing shade, and absorbing stormwater before it pollutes our water or causes flooding

 

• Lower emissions by reducing energy consumption in buildings and storing
and absorbing carbon

 

• Provide food and habitat to myriad animal species, including insects, birds, snakes, amphibians, and invertebrates

 

• Offer respite, solace, and beauty when we need it most

 

 

But these benefits do not reach everyone equitably. The most heat vulnerable neighborhoods tend to be low-income communities or communities of color with fewer trees and shade. There is also no dedicated long-term funding or committed plan for protecting and managing NYC’s trees. For New York City’s communities to thrive, we need to prioritize our urban forest.