Many of us appreciate trees, in the sense that we recognize the positive attributes they can provide. They create shade, block the wind, prevent erosion, provide habitat and beautify the environment, among many other benefits. Now we are beginning to see a different kind of “tree appreciation,” however – one that documents trees as a capital asset that increases in monetary value. As a result of this, new funding opportunities could open up for projects to plant more trees, particularly in urban environments. Scott Fogarty, executive director of the Portland-based Friends of Trees group, shared some thoughts about this in an guest opinion published in The Oregonian:
Yet despite the numerous public benefits, urban tree planting and preservation aren’t funded in the ways that we fund our bridges and roads. This may be about to change. For the first time, the Oregon Department of Transportation is putting trees “on the books” as part of the three-year project involving ODOT Region 1, Friends of Trees and Metro to green the I-205 bike and pedestrian path known as the Multi-Use Path. By recognizing trees as capital assets, the I-205 project secured funding through a Nature in Neighborhoods capital grant from Metro’s 2006 voter-approved natural areas bond measure. The result: Thousands of native trees and shrubs will serve the neighborhoods and cities along the path — and the entire region — for years to come.
Read the entire article.