Tree Canopy, new assessment shows increase in Louisville

Good News Notes:

Mayor Fischer and other community leaders announced the findings of the most recent Urban Tree Canopy Assessment for Louisville on Thursday at Medora Elementary School. 

The new study, commissioned by the nonprofit group TreesLouisville, shows Louisville experienced tree canopy gain while also combating canopy loss.

Tree Canopy is basically the part of the city that is shaded by trees, branches, leaves, and other foliage.

According to TreesLouisville, “a robust tree canopy has everything to do with the health of our community.”

Trees have been proven to improve air quality, manage storm water, mitigate the urban heat island effect, support wildlife and reducing carbon. They also improve neighborhood cohesion, increase property values, reduce crime and improve student performance.

In 2013, Mayor Fischer and his team created the Sustain Louisville plan, which aims to reach a goal of 45% tree canopy across the city in 40 years. At the time the tree canopy was at 38%.

The initial Louisville Metro Urban Tree Canopy Assessment that was released in 2015 predicted a steep decline in Louisville Metro’s overall tree canopy. That study documented a loss of the equivalent of 820 acres of tree canopy annually over the study period between 2004 and 2012.  

TreesLouisville commissioned the University of Vermont’s Spatial Analysis Lab to do a follow-up study reanalyzing the 2012 assessment and comparing it to the 2019 data.

Not only was the initial assessment proven wrong, new results showed a 1% net increase of canopy, outpacing the annual canopy loss. The assessment also includes recommendations to continue tree canopy growth….”

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