Payoff for increasing urban forest could be a million new trees

Sacramento, CA (July 8, 2007)- A small group of volunteers is devoting itself to tabulating the Sacramento region’s trees. In a month-long effort, 75 volunteers are working with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to measure just how much of the six-county Sacramento region- stretching from Sutter to Solano- is covered by a canopy of trees.

The volunteers are counting just a sample of circular plots sprinkled randomly throughout the region. Once they finish in mid-July, the Sacramento Tree Foundation hopes to study the information to learn what percentage of the land is shaded by trees- and how those trees are faring.
They also hope the information will help them win support for increasing the region’s urban forest cover. Ideally, said Constance Crawford, a spokeswoman for the foundation, the count might win the state some federal dollars to help plant a million new trees. Crawford says the foundation’s goal is to have 35 percent canopy coverage- a level she says could improve the region’s poor air quality and decrease average temperatures.
At 7am Saturday- a time when 17-year-old Chris Pavia normally might be sleeping- he and four other volunteers gathered at a Starbucks, armed with hats and fanny packs, rope, tape measures, a compass, an orange traffic cone, pencils, and paper. Then they took to the streets. Operation: Tree-counting.
For the full article, visit the Sacramento Bee.