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DC Named a Top City for Urban Forests

The nation’s capital is committed to caring for green spaces and sustainability.

American Forests, a nonprofit conservation organization, named Washington, DC a top city for urban forests, thanks to its more than 17,000 trees on the National Mall and various green initiatives. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Did you know DC is home to almost 2 million trees? What about the fact that our small city includes 350,000 square feet of green roofs? Those are notable enough stats that nonprofit conservation organization American Forests honored the nation’s capital as one of the ten best cities for urban forests in its recent survey.

American Forests defines urban forests as areas that provide communities with “environmental, economic, and social benefits and habitat for fish and wildlife.”

DC was recognized for developing 35 percent of tree canopy and a wide range of green initiatives. American Forests cited Mayor Vince Gray’s 2011 sustainability initiative, an effort to make DC the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the country by 2032.

American Forests also noted that DC’s 2 million trees save the city $2.6 million in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions by $96,000 each year. A case study conducted on the District Department of Transportation and Urban Forestry Administration found that the city plants 4,500 new trees each year.

Other noteworthy facts mentioned in the survey:

  1. DC is home to 7,464 acres of parkland.
  2. The Mall has 17,000 trees.
  3. More than 2 billion gallons of sewage overflow enter the Anacostia and Potomac rivers every year.

The following cities also made the top ten list:

  1. Austin, TX
  2. New York, NY
  3. Charlotte, NC
  4. Portland, OR
  5. Denver, CO
  6. Sacramento, CA
  7. Milwaukee, WI
  8. Seattle, WA
  9. Minneapolis, MN

For more information, visit American Forests’s website

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