- Protect existing undeveloped forests and greenspaces from further development.
- Enhance the health, condition and function of existing tree and forest fragments to provide such things as air quality and temperature regulation, hydrologic function and habitat.
- Restore open lands and impervious areas through either planting or natural regeneration to regain original forest functions.
Understanding the Benefits of Urban Forest Cover
Trees and shrubs provide benefits, but location and forest conditions matter.
For example the protection of headwater streams, small streams found at the tops of headwaters, provides key water quality protection. These streams are the most sensitive to development because they are feed by a very small watershed area; therefore, any disturbances in these watersheds have a much greater impact than downstream waterways. In north Georgia these streams are often designated as trout streams and are the least protected. Riparian buffers and better storm water management can be used to protect the natural functions of these streams and reduce the expense of the loss of ecosystem services they provide. Identification of lands that provide greater benefits is the first step in any green infrastructure planning process.
The economic, environmental, and community benefits of trees (modified from Cappiella, et al. 2005)
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The regional benefits of forest cover (modified from Cappiella, et al. 2005)
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