Within the city limits of Dallas, TX, several thousand acres of forest land grows in the floodplain of the Trinity River. By caring for the Great Trinity Forest, urban metropolis Dallas -9th largest US city- has an extraordinary natural asset for ecosystem services, outdoor recreation, and habitat conservation.
Ecosystem Services- how the forest works for you
Ecosystem services are the benefits that flow from nature to humans. Nature’s services to humans are often overlooked, but they are extremely valuable.
Service: Forests provide recreation and education opportunities
The Trinity River Audubon Center is the center of activity for the Great Trinity Forest. Each year thousands of visitors join for birding, canoeing, photography, pre-school, eco field trips, native plant gardening, weddings, and more. Take a virtual tour.
Service: Forests reduce stormwater runoff, improving watershed health
The Great Trinity Forest captures 22,534,900.5 cubic feet/year of stormwater runoff. This service provided to Dallas by the Great Trinity Forest is worth $1,500,297.60 each year. (Report page 21)
Service: Forests remove air pollutants, cleaning the air we breathe
“Pollution removal by trees in Dallas is estimated at 2,980 tons of air pollution annually with an associated value of $15.2 million dollars each year. Air pollutants removed include ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.” (Report page 18)
We often think of trees as replaceable, cut one down and plant a new one. But small trees do not equal large mature trees. It’s important to protect the mature sections of the Great Trinity Forest.
“Trees greater than 20 inches in DBH account for only 5% of Dallas’s entire tree canopy but produce 27% of the overall value.” (Report page 27)
The State of the Dallas Urban Forest Report
The Texas Trees Foundation assessed the ecosystem services of the trees within the city limits of Dallas, TX. They calculated the numbers discussed above.
The study found that the Great Trinity Forest accounts for nearly 20% of all tree benefits in the city.
Read the report handout: http://www.texastrees.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Handout-Feb-5.pdf
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