Environmental issues and social justice are inextricably connected – even with trees. Humans need trees to be healthy. But trees are not distributed evenly across neighborhoods, and canopy coverage is inequitable. Income levels and historic redlining policies are linked to tree canopy cover. (Link below to learn more about the systemic racist policy of redlining and how it is linked to hotter neighborhoods.)
From a recent NPR article: “In 37 cities around the country, formerly redlined neighborhoods have about half as many trees on average today as the highest-rated predominantly white neighborhoods on those maps.”
We recommend these articles and resources to learn more about the connections between income, race, connection to green space, tree canopy cover, and health.
Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/climate/black-environmentalists-talk-about-climate-and-anti-racism.html
Heat and Health in American Cities article series: https://www.npr.org/series/756048128/urban-heat
Trees Are Key To Fighting Urban Heat – But Cities Keep Losing Them (from article series listed above): https://www.npr.org/2019/09/04/755349748/trees-are-key-to-fighting-urban-heat-but-cities-keep-losing-them
First #BlackBirderWeek Draws Fans – And Some Controversy – In Tennessee: https://wpln.org/post/first-blackbirderweek-draws-fans-and-some-controversy-in-tennessee/
Trees Improve Human Health and Well-Being in Many Ways: https://www.fs.fed.us/nrs/news/review/review-vol26.pdf