Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Indianapolis Trees Provide $5.7 Million In Benefits To Local Area
Shame for those who measure the value of trees on its timber. Read this
U.S. Forest Service scientists with the Center for Urban Forest Research have completed a study that found planting and nurturing Indianapolis street trees brought a 500 percent return in benefits from storm water reduction, energy conservation, cleaner air and increased property values.
The researchers evaluated more than 117,000 trees the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Forestry Section manages and found every $1 spent brought a $6.09 return.
"Indianapolis' urban forest is uniquely diverse, with only one of over 170 species representing slightly more than 10 percent of the total tree population," said Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research director and one of the study's authors. "This diversity is important because it puts the forest at less risk of catastrophic losses from disease or pests."
Scientists involved in the study found Indianapolis trees annually intercept 318.9 million gallons of rainfall, which they estimate to be worth $1.98 million or $17 per tree per year.
The trees also annually cut electricity use by more than 6,447 megawatt hours, worth $432,000. They reduce natural gas use by more than 150,000 therms, bringing annual benefits worth $165,000 or $5 per tree.
Each tree annually removes 1.5 pounds of air pollutants, valued at $2 per tree or $212,000, according to the scientists. They also estimated the trees increased property values and provided less tangible benefits worth $2.9 million or on average $24 per tree.