This post has been updated to include a Cuyahoga County tree canopy map from 2019. The post previously showed a map from 2014, which the City of Cleveland presented in the July 11, 2023 meeting. Find the 2014 map at the bottom of this post for comparison.
Cleveland and its partners want to plant more trees. Cleveland’s tree canopy – or the percentage of land covered by trees – is 18%. The Cleveland Tree Coalition (CTC) wants to increase that to 30% by 2040. The CTC is a tree-focused collaborative with 50-plus members, including the city and the Cuyahoga County government. It raises money and supports the planting of trees. Samira Malone, who chairs Cleveland’s Urban Forestry Commission, also directs the CTC. She gave an overview of the commission in this meeting. To achieve its tree canopy goals, 28,000 trees would need to be planted per year.
Equity is key
A healthy tree canopy is considered 30% or higher, Malone said in her presentation. Cleveland’s tree canopy is worse in areas that faced a history of redlining, or the discriminatory practice by government and banks to not lend or insure in certain neighborhoods – mostly ones with Black residents. “It’s extremely important for us to have a throughline of equity in the work that we’re doing,” Malone said.
Grants to help
The city’s new Urban Forestry Commission, meeting for the third time, also learned about some potential financial support for this work. CTC has requested $48 million from the federal government through the Inflation Reduction Act. Jennifer Kipp, a commission member who also leads Cleveland’s Urban Forestry Section, highlighted a $2.7 million request by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers.
Check out more details from Documenter Christina Easter’s live-tweet thread: