Trees for Public Health

Hey, Here's a pro tip :

providing access to trees and green spaces is a public health tool.

Our flagship program, Trees for Public Health (TPH), was established in 2012 to increase the tree canopy and remove impervious surfaces, like asphalt and concrete, in the sixteen neighborhoods that sit within East Baltimore’s Harris Creek watershed. 

Studies conducted around that time corroborated the shared experiences of the East Baltimore residents who disproportionately suffer from higher rates of chronic respiratory illnesses – like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – that are exacerbated by high temperatures and poor air quality. 

In many instances, researchers found that the street-level temperatures in East Baltimore were upwards of 9-16°F warmer than the city’s leafiest communities, where healthy networks of trees and green spaces actively cool and moderate the local air quality. Considered together with other strands of research about the benefits of nature on human health and psychology, a clear pictured developed in which Baltimore City’s health disparities were imprinted in the very design of its built environment.

Working closely with a coalition of community associations and resident-activists, the Tree Trust completely “planted up” (that is to say, trees were installed in every available space) ten of the neighborhoods within the Harris Creek watershed between 2012-2017. Today, we still prioritize relationship-building with community leaders to address the tree canopy at a neighborhood-scale, but our footprint is now citywide.

If your neighborhood needs more trees and you would like to work with the Tree Trust during an upcoming planting season, we want to hear from you!

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