American Forests has named Portland one of its “10 Best U.S. Cities for Urban Forests" in part for turning a freeway into Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
The list also includes Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington D.C.
The Best Cities project, funded by the U.S. Forest Service, affirms that long-term investments in urban ecosystems benefit the community.
Criteria include civic engagement in maintaining urban forests, integrating urban forests into infrastructure planning, accessibility to the public, overall health and condition of the urban forest, local knowledge about urban forests and ongoing management plans.
Portland was cited for efforts to turn a downtown parking lot into an urban park, the Tom McCall waterfront park project, the 5,000-plus acre Forest Park and other urban forest amenities.
According to American Forests, Portland’s street trees add $13 million to property resale values and the city’s urban forest provides more than $38 million in environmental benefits.