Trees Pay Us Back! – Educational Campaign
In October and November 2010, park visitors were invited to take the “Tree-Ching Trail Walk” at Stephens Lake Park to learn about the benefits park trees provide our community. Along the park perimeter trail there were a series of price tags hanging on park trees with details on the financial and environmental benefits they provide. The price tags in the park have since been removed, but the information about the trees and their value is provided below.
Fourteen trees were selected at Stephens Lake Park to demonstrate the value trees provide our community. Trees were evaluated by using the National Tree Benefit Calculator, which takes into consideration a tree’s location, species and size to calculate the approximate annual economic value a specific tree provides. A price tag was displayed on all fourteen trees, showing each tree’s estimated annual monetary benefit. The map below shows the location of each tree identified on the Tree-Ching Trail Walk. The price tags in the park have since been removed, but photos of the trees in the trail walk, their respective value price tags and value charts (from the National Tree Benefit Calculator) are shown below. Research studies show that for every dollar invested in trees, there is a three to seven dollar return!
Click on the map (above) and the value price tags and charts (below) for enlargements.
1 – White Ash (Fraxinum Americana)
2 – Walnut (Juglans Nigra)
3 – Hackberry (Celtis Occidentalis)
4 – Honeylocust (Gleditsia Triacanthos)
5 – Silver Maple (Acer Saccharinum)
6 – American Sycamore (Plantanus Occidentalis)
7 – Chinkapin Oak (Quercus Muehlenbergii)
8 – Red Maple (Acer Rubrum)
9 – American Elm (Ulmus Americana)
10 – Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum)
11 – White Oak (Quercus Alba)
12 – Honeylocust (Gleditsia Triacanthos)
13 – Baldcypress (Taxodium Distichium)
14 – Pecan (Carya Illinoinensis)
This project was funded by the Missouri Department of Conservation through a $10,000 Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) Grant. The project includes an i-Tree Streets Analysis Report and a GIS-based tree inventory at Stephens Lake Park, tree benefit signage, and an educational outreach program.
A component of the grant is to conduct a GIS-based tree inventory at Stephens Lake Park of all trees planted or maintained in mowed or common areas of the park (excluding the trees growing in the Hinkson Creek riparian forest corridor on the park’s eastern boundary). The following inventory data and fields will be collected:
What is i-Tree Streets Analysis?
i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the US Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. The i-Tree Tools help communities of all sizes to strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the structure of community trees and the environmental services that trees provide.
i-Tree Streets is a street tree management and analysis tool for urban forest managers that uses tree inventory data to quantify the dollar value of annual environmental and aesthetic benefits: energy conservation, air quality improvement, CO2 reduction, stormwater control, and property value increase.
The following are some of the benefits research studies have shown that trees provide:
- Trees reduce storm water control costs – 100 mature trees catch about 539,000 gallons of rain water per year.
- Trees reduce energy costs – Home owners can save up to 56% of annual air conditioning costs from shade trees and up to 25% of winter heating costs from tree windbreaks.
- Trees increase property value – Each large front yard tree adds about 1% to the resale value of a home. Large specimen trees can add 10% or more.
- Trees improve air quality -100 mature trees remove about 53 tons of carbon dioxide and about 430 pounds of air pollutants per year.
- Trees benefit commercial business – Shoppers shop more often and longer in well-landscaped business districts and are willing to pay more for parking and up to 12% more for goods and services.
- Trees reduce stress – Views of tree-filled landscapes reduce the stress response of both body and mind.
- Return on investment – Research studies show that for every dollar invested in trees, there is a three to seven dollar return!
- Stephens Lake Park ‘price tags’ to show what trees are worth
Columbia Missourian – 10/15/2010
- Tree inventory under way at Stephens Lake Park
Columbia Missourian – 11/3/2010
- National Tree Benefit Calculator
- US Forest Service – Trees Pay Us Back
- Missouri Community Forestry Council
- Missouri Department of Conservation – Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance Grant