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Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives

April 17, 2024 2pm

Health Webinar with Alison Baylis - Regional Urban Ecologist, Urban & Community Forestry, Texas A&M Forest Service

Trees in urban environments provide an array of health and well-being benefits that sustain our cities. This webinar will focus on some of those critical benefits and explore the relationship between trees, human health, well-being, and environmental justice in the urban setting. Research has shown that trees offer many benefits that improve human health and well-being. However, those benefits are often not equally distributed, resulting in different levels of benefits between neighborhoods with more tree cover compared to those with less.

In cities across the US, wealthier and whiter neighborhoods often have more trees and tree cover compared to lower-income, racial and ethnic minority neighborhoods. The inequitable distribution of urban tree cover and associated benefits based on income, race, and ethnicity is a form of environmental injustice. Communities can promote healthier outcomes by strategically placing trees and engaging neighborhoods to have the greatest impact on public health. This presentation will highlight the research on the human health benefits of trees and inequities that exist. Recent projects that leverage the health and well-being benefits of trees will also be highlighted. Finally, resources and tools will be introduced so that ideas can turn into real life action: everything from making the case to skeptical decision-makers, to building community consensus, to physically planting and caring for trees both new and old.

At the conclusion of the webinar participants will be able to recognize several human health and well-being benefits of trees, understand how the distributions of trees and tree cover impact the level of benefits experienced at the neighborhood level and become familiar with projects and tools that leverage the human health and well-being benefits of trees.

Webinar offered on April 17th at 2:00 Central