Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund

Established in 1991, the Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund was created to improve quality of life for residents through tree planting and improved access to green spaces.  Your contribution to the Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund through the City’s annual UPAF/VISIONS Campaign helps support tree planting projects that improve our neighborhoods, benefit the environment and connect us to nature. 

We live, work and play in a world-class urban forest.  Milwaukee’s urban forest is a vibrant network of over 3.4 million trees on public and private property that helps regulate and enhance our environment and connects us to nature.  Look outside, Milwaukee’s trees work hard every day to clean the air we breathe, soak up stormwater, provide shade and save us money on summer energy costs.  Milwaukee’s trees also look great and provide habitat for wildlife.  While they can scream for attention with spring blossoms or bright fall color, most often, Milwaukee’s trees quietly play their role in the urban landscape.  Learn about all the wonderful things a tree can do, while just standing there!

Milwaukee’s Urban Forest Benefits

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
  • $7.5 million in avoided stormwater runoff
  • $1.45 million in energy savings
  • $1.1 million in carbon storage

Milwaukee’s urban forest is worth the investment. 

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Trees benefit people in many ways.  They improve health and well being.

  • Trees reduce sickness
  • Trees aid healing and shorten recuperation time
  • Trees reduce mental fatigue and stress

Research has shown trees and exposure to nature helps children learn.

  • Trees increase children’s interest and attentiveness
  • Trees alleviate stress and aid in social interactions
  • Trees reduce violent/disruptive behavior
  • Trees calm children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Trees have a lasting positive impact on life-long learning

Trees foster safer and more social neighborhoods.

Trees beautify and increase the scenic quality of our community.

Trees reduce noise pollution.

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Trees play a vital role for the planet.  They serve to bridge the gap between the urban environment and the natural world.

Trees improve air quality:

  • Trees absorb air pollutants and release oxygen
  • Trees improve resiliency to climate change through the capture and storage of CO2
  • Trees combat the urban heat island effect and indirectly reduce atmospheric ozone through the reduction of air temperatures and providing shade

Trees improve water quality:

  • Trees reduce peak stormwater runoff and pollutants into Milwaukee rivers and Lake Michigan
  • Trees intercept rainfall and evaporate it through leaves
  • Tree roots increase rainfall infiltration and storage in the soil

Trees provide wildlife habitat.

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Trees profit the economy and generate energy savings.

  • Trees enhance property values as people are willing to pay more for properties with trees

  • Trees reduce the demand for energy and lower summer cooling costs by providing shade and lowering air temperatures

  • Trees cause shoppers to linger in retail districts and spend more money

People are willing to pay more for goods and services when located in well landscaped business district.

Legacy Contribution

Your contribution to the Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund supports tree planting projects across the city at schools, local parks and green spaces and in neighborhoods and commercial districts.  It provides hands-on opportunities for children to learn about trees and their benefits and engage with arborists about careers in urban forestry.  The newly planted trees will serve as a legacy for the next generation to benefit and enjoy. Thank you for considering a legacy contribution.

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City of Milwaukee Forestry Established 1918

414-286-CITY (2489)

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Forestry Online
Service Requests


Call 414-286-CITY for branches hanging or trees down to ensure prompt attention to potential emergency requests.


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