For baseball enthusiasts, it may not feel like spring until Major League Baseball spring training begins. With a few days left until opening day, we thought it appropriate to hold a match-up of our own in comparing a few of the host cities’ community forestry accomplishments.
Phoenix has more to offer than year-long sunshine and desert. This city of one million residents is adorned with more than 92,000 trees throughout the greater Phoenix area. These trees have benefited the city in several ways. Property value in Phoenix has increased by more than $3 million as a result of the benefits trees provide. With an annual average of more than 200 days of sunshine, it’s a good idea that the city would plant trees to help provide shade on hot days and cool things off a bit. In fact, the city’s tree canopy saves $1.1 million annually in energy costs as result of the cooling that city trees provide. Not a bad deal for living in the desert. In fact, in 2009 Phoenix set a goal to increase its tree canopy coverage from 8% to 25% by the year 2030. In addition, Phoenix has been designated a Tree City USA community for 28 years, and Growth Award recipient 18 years.
Glendale, a growing city of more than 220,000 residents, is home to major sports venues including the University of Phoenix Stadium. Glendale boasts more than 21,000 trees that offer visitors plenty of shade under which to cool off. In fact, the city’s tree canopy helps lower energy cost by more than $116,000 a year. Glendale’s property value has increased by nearly $500,000 as a result of the tree landscape, something residents are sure to appreciate. In addition, Glendale has been designated a Tree City USA community for 18 years.
Tampa, home to more than 300,000 people, features a wonder of natural sights and attractions. Among things to enjoy in the area are some of the city’s 7.8 million trees. The trees throughout the city provide approximately $3.9 million in energy savings annually. Tampa’s tree canopy coverage is at an impressive 28%. Tampa has been recognized as a Tree City USA community for 32 years.
Orlando, a city of a quarter of a million people and the theme park capital of the United States, provides plenty of greenery to enjoy in between thrilling rides. Whether you’re a city slicker or tree hugger, Orlando’s 88,000 trees are something that any local or visitor can appreciate. The city launched Green Works Orlando in 2007— a plan to improve environmental sustainability in Orlando during the next generation. Since its launch, the city has saved more than $1million annually in energy costs. Orlando has a tree canopy coverage of 26%. In addition, Orlando has been designated a Tree City USA community for 37 years and Growth Award recipient for23 years.
Community forestry programs are an asset to cities, communities, and neighborhoods, contributing to their environmental and economic well-being. The benefits made possible by a healthy, vibrant community tree canopy are enjoyed by the current and future generations.
Which Cactus League or Grapefruit League city do you think earns the title in our MLB Community Forestry Match Up?