U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) program supports state initiatives to care for the urban forests around the country. It helps cities and towns across the nation prepare for storms, contain threats from native and invasive pests, and improve tree canopy cover. The White House’s proposed FY18 Budget completely eliminates funding for this vital program.
Chicago’s urban forest is vital to the health and wellness of our city. Trees provide essential economic services, improve the quality of life for residents and wildlife, mitigate the threats of climate change to our region, and help to beautify our neighborhoods and parks. Preserving these community assets, however, requires constant attention, persistence, and investment.
Openlands has leveraged UCF funding to support the TreeKeepers program, providing on the ground care for city trees. Eliminating funding for this program imperils the health of our communities and the climate of our region.