On October 2, the Downtown Denver Partnership, in partnership with the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID) and the City and County of Denver’s Office of the City Forester, celebrated the 100th tree bed improved as part of the Urban Forest Initiative (UFI), a collaborative effort to grow Denver’s urban forest through education, built infrastructure and maintenance.
The UFI program seeks to support downtown’s urban canopy by providing trees with the planting environment needed to support long term growth. This includes giving each tree more growing space, adding protective fences, and installing raised curbs. The 100th tree bed was enlarged at the dead end of Delgany Streets between 15th Street and the Cherry Creek, in partnership with the Delgany Street Maintenance District.
“A healthy tree canopy is transformative for a city’s public realm and its people, and we are proud to have hit the excited milestone of the Urban Forest Initiative’s 100th tree bed this month,” said Kourtny Garrett, president & CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, “Our downtown trees are increasingly important in our efforts revitalize downtown, providing impactful benefits to people and business and meaningfully contributing to our city’s sustainability and environmental goals.”
Dense urban tree canopies and urban forestry efforts are shown to strengthen communities and social cohesion, contribute to overall health and emotional well-being, in addition to positively impacting economic and environmental conditions:
- 12%: the average percent-increase in revenue for businesses on tree-lined streets
- 12%: the average percent-decrease in crime for every 10% increase in tree canopy
- $5.82: a city’s expected return on investment for ever $1 invested in urban forestry
- 10° F: the decrease in temperature on tree canopied streets
- 3 – 7%: the decrease in ozone for every 10% increase in tree canopy
- 60%: the expected reduction in particulates from car exhaust fumes on tree-lined streets
The Urban Forest Initiative is funded by Denver Parks and Recreation, the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, Bank of America, the Kaiser Permanente Community Health Fund at the Denver Foundation, FirstBank, The Nature Conservancy, the Zoellner Family Foundation, The Gates Family Foundation and by the generosity of dozens of individual donors. Companies and individuals interested in investing in the Urban Forest Initiative, and property owners interested in grant opportunities should contact Amanda Miller, Manager of Sustainability Initiatives at the Downtown Denver Partnership at email@example.com.