- This event has passed.
Panel Discussion: Combating Climate Change with Urban Forests: How Trees Can Save Our Cities
January 29 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Climate Change with Urban Forests: How Trees Can Save Our Cities
Sponsored by Green Minneapolis
Sun, Jan 29, 11 am
American Swedish Institute
Part of the Climate Solutions Series
With panelists Leslie Brandt (U.S. Forest Service), Tee McClenty (MN350), Rachel Holmes (The Nature Conservancy), and Jeremy Barrick (The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board). Facilitated by Green Minneapolis’s David Wilson.
Summer 2021 was the hottest on record in the Twin Cities, and Summer 2022 was the longest on record—118 days of temperatures 70 degrees or warmer. Climate change has arrived, and urban residents—especially the most disadvantaged—are impacted the most, with stifling heat, dirtier air and more flooding from extreme precipitation events. As climate change worsens, Minneapolis/St. Paul and cities across the country will become difficult places for people to live and thrive.
But there’s an amazing technology that mitigates the worst impacts of climate change in cities: the tree. Urban trees sequester carbon, capture stormwater, filter air pollutants, and reduce energy use, all while creating habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. Unfortunately, the Twin Cities’ tree canopy is decreasing rapidly due to Emerald Ash Borer, accelerating development, climate change, and insufficient tree funding. And general awareness of the importance of urban trees is low, with urban trees viewed as expendable.
Panelists will discuss why urban tree canopy needs to be viewed as critical urban infrastructure—just like transit systems and utilities—and invested in accordingly. Experts will explain factors causing the decline of the Twin Cities urban tree canopy, and share exciting initiatives under way in the Twin Cities and across the country to expand urban tree canopy.