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Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund

Tree Planting In Progress

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Planting Trees, Growing Together

Neighborhoods across Milwaukee need trees to ensure all people have access to green space and its essential benefits. Although Milwaukee has a robust urban forest, there is more work to be done, particularly in areas with few mature trees. Tree equity studies show that many low-income neighborhoods in Milwaukee are disproportionately affected by a low population of healthy, mature trees and the loss of benefits they can provide. Through support from donors, we can extend the benefits that trees provide to all residents throughout Milwaukee.

To achieve this goal, the Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund is committed to planting trees on public and private property through partnership with residents and community organizations. The Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund provides trees, expertise, and guidance for community partners that want to bring the many benefits that trees provide to their neighborhood. All communities within the City of Milwaukee are encouraged to apply for a tree planting project!

MKE Urban Forestry Fund Flyer

MKE Urban Forestry Fund Flyer - En Espanol

Are you interested in having a community tree planting project in your neighborhood? We want to work with you! Please fill out the contact information below and we will get in touch to discuss next steps.

Please keep in mind that all the planting projects must plant a minimum of 10 trees. 




Investing in a Greener, Healthier City

Planting trees is an investment towards a greener, healthier Milwaukee. With your investment, you will fund community-based projects that make a tangible difference in the neighborhoods where you live, work, and play! The newly planted trees will serve as a legacy for future generations to benefit from and enjoy, all through the support from donations to the Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund.

You can help build a legacy today by donating to the Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund below.



  • The Urban Forest
  • People
  • Planet
  • Profit

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:

  • Absorbing air pollutants and releasing oxygen

  • Capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2). This reduces the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere and increases resiliency to climate change.

  • Combating urban heat island effect. Urban heat islands are about 1-7°F warmer than rural areas and lead to increased energy consumption, compromised human health and comfort, and impaired water quality. Trees help cool the environment to combat these issues.

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.

Trees also:

  • 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.


The Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund, supported by donors and administered in partnership with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, was started in 1991 to improve the quality of life in the city through support of tree planting and improved access to green spaces. Since then, the Milwaukee Urban Forestry Fund has supported several tree planting projects throughout Milwaukee.


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