Greening of Detroit: 400K more trees needed to boost air quality, temper flooding

August 23, 2022, 6:37 PM

(File photo)

Detroit lacks adequate tree coverage and some neighborhoods have far less than others, exacerbating the effects of flooding, poor air quality and high heat.

So says a new report from The Detroit News. Poorer areas often have fewer trees, and some parts of Detroit reportedly have as little as 3 percent tree cover. 

According to Lionel Bradford, president of the Greening of Detroit, a nonprofit dedicated to planting more trees in Detroit, a city its size should be at 40% in terms of tree canopy coverage. The city is currently at 24% and about 400,000 more trees are needed to get to 40%.

Bradford said Detroit lost most of its trees between the 1950s and 1990s to disease, urbanization and neglect.

But even though the Greening of Detroit has teamed up with the city to plant more — 75,000 are to be added in five years — some residents are opposed:

About 25% of residents declined to have trees planted near their homes between 2011 and 2014, according to research published by Carmichael in 2019.

Read more:  Detroit News

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