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Individual Highlight

Understanding What Motivates People To Plant trees Gives Insight on Environmental Justice Concerns

Photo of A Plant it Portland sign from the nonprofit organization, Friends of Trees, encourages Portland residence to plant trees. Rhonda Mazza, USDA Forest ServiceA Plant it Portland sign from the nonprofit organization, Friends of Trees, encourages Portland residence to plant trees. Rhonda Mazza, USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : Urban tree-planting programs may inadvertently exacerbate environmental inequality.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Donovan, Geoffrey 
Research Location : Oregon
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2014
Highlight ID : 676

Summary

Many cities have ambitious tree planting goals, but do not have the resources to reach those goals alone. Therefore, cities often create policies that encourage private citizens to plant trees. By studying factors that influence people's tendency to follow up on incentive programs and plant trees on their property in Portland, OR, scientitsts identified some trends in who is most likely to plant and also barriers that appear to prevent people from planting trees. For example, people who live in census blocks with lower high school graduation rates were less likely to plant trees, whereas homeowners with existing street trees or who had lived in an older house were more likely to plant additional trees. With many studies showing the health and well-being benefits of urban trees, the success or failure of a tree-planting program takes on environmental justice implications. Results from this study suggest that tree planting programs may inadvertently exacerbate environmental inequality.