Trees are important to Cleveland’s history, health and pride. But development and disease have decimated the city’s urban forest. Scientists say that Cleveland’s tree coverage should be at least 30 percent; instead we’re at 18 percent and falling.
In 2015, the City of Cleveland issued the Cleveland Tree Plan, a comprehensive look at Cleveland’s dwindling tree canopy and what needs to be done to reforest the Forest City. The findings are concerning: Cleveland has lost 5 percent of its tree cover from 2011 to 2017. Similarly sized cities like Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati all boast a healthy urban tree canopy well above 30 percent; as of 2020, Cleveland’s tree canopy coverage was only 18 percent and declining. We need to plant more than 28,000 trees each year to meet the goal of 30 percent tree coverage by 2040.
We chair the Cleveland Tree Coalition, a collaborative group of public, private, and community stakeholders who have partnered with the City of Cleveland to rebuild our urban forest. This positions Western Reserve Land Conservancy as a key player in advocating for funding, policy changes, and broad public awareness of the benefits of trees. So far, we have:
Reforest Our City plants trees in formerly-redlined Cleveland neighborhoods where a lack of trees harms communities. Using the Cleveland Tree Plan, we have identified priority neighborhoods for planting and urban reforestation. These neighborhoods are:
Fill out the form below to receive our TreeMail eblast with the latest Reforest Our City news!