Milwaukee’s urban forest provides economic, environmental, and social benefits to our community often referred to as the triple bottom line or people, planet and profit. Benefits from trees increase over time as they grow. On average, benefits exceed the cost of tree planting and maintenance delivering a 300% return-on-investment.
The annual return-on-investment provided by Milwaukee’s urban forest includes:
- $18.8 million in air pollution removal
- $1.85 million in avoided stormwater runoff
- $1.31 million in energy savings
- $1.11 million in carbon sequestration (reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere)
Milwaukee's urban Forest is worth the investment.
Most often we hear of the benefits that trees provide for the environment, but trees also provide many direct benefits to our health.
Exposure to forests and trees have been shown to:
- Boost the immune system
- Aid in healing and shortened recuperation time
- Reduce mental fatigue and stress
- Improve sleep
Research has also shown that exposure to trees and nature helps children learn by:
- Increasing attentiveness and improving focus (including in children with ADHD)
- Reducing stress and aiding in social interactions
- Reducing violent/disruptive behavior
- Providing lasting positive impacts on life-long learning
These are just a few of the many, quantifiable health benefits we receive from trees. Trees also foster safer and more social neighborhoods, they reduce noise pollution, and they beautify and increase the scenic quality of our community.
More facts and related studies on the health benefits from trees can be found here.
Trees bridge the gap between the urban environment and the natural world, and they play a vital role for the planet.
Trees improve air quality by:
Trees improve water quality by:
- Reducing peak stormwater runoff and pollutants that can enter Milwaukee rivers and Lake Michigan
- Intercepting rainfall which then evaporates from leaves
- Storing water in the soil. Tree roots increase rainfall infiltration into the soil which helps keep water where it falls and out of our basements and sewers.
Trees help wildlife by:
- Providing habitat for birds, mammals, and insects.
- Providing a food source for countless wildlife
- Providing an early source of nectar for many endangered pollinator species including butterflies, bees, and migrating birds.
Trees profit the economy and generate energy savings. The shade that trees provide can reduce energy costs, and people are often willing to pay more for goods and services that are located in a well-landscaped business district.
- Enhance property values as people are willing to pay more for properties with trees
- Cause shoppers to linger in retail districts and spend more money
Reduce air conditioning costs by 30% and save 20%-50 in heating costs when properly placed around buildings.