Tree Canopy Mapping for Jersey City, NJ
In summer 2014, the Jersey City Environmental Commission (JCEC) funded a study of the city’s tree canopy by the Green Infrastructure Center.
This report provides both the results of that study, as well as a brief discussion of the city’s current tree management challenges, then presents recommendations from the JCEC to address identified needs. Tree canopy assessments can be used to target priorities for reforestation of those areas most in need. In New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere, Million Tree Initiatives have created ambitious goals for re-greening cities. These programs emphasize planting goals that most often target street tree sites or parks, but also include reforestation efforts on vacant land.
As an older and very dense northeastern city, Jersey City faces many challenges in caring for its urban trees. However, better care for the city’s trees and an expanded tree canopy will help the city become cleaner, more vibrant, more attractive and more liveable. The health, well-being and economic condition of city residents is tied to the extent of greenery in their environment.
In cities, which often lack open spaces, tree canopy is critical to performing natural services. The city’s trees provide shade, stormwater management, better air quality, reduced utility bills, enhanced safety, natural beauty, vibrant residential and business districts and mental and physical health. However, as a living system, the city’s tree canopy needs good care, management and replacement over time.
A greener Jersey City will attract better paid jobs and thus a larger tax base over the long term. Investment in the city’s trees will show prospective businesses that the city is healthy and thriving. It will also motivate people to spend more time and money in retail areas and will promote home purchases and higher house and condominium values. Accordingly, investment made in the city’s green infrastructure will be returned to the city’s coffers many times over.
Currently, the city’s canopy stands at 17 percent, far less than comparable urban areas in the eastern U.S. And the city is losing its tree canopy little by little every year. The strategies in the report will help the city know where trees are needed and to take steps to better protect, manage and increase the cities trees.
Learn more on our Tree Planning and Planting Campaign page.