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Untapped Common Ground: The Care of Forested Natural Areas in American Cities

By Clara C. Pregitzer, Sarah Charlop-Powers, Charlie McCabe, Alexandra Hiple, Bram Gunther, Mark A. Bradford

Natural areas account for 84% of urban parkland. Despite representing the largest concentration
of nature in cities, natural areas often go unnoticed, underused, under resourced and unprotected.
Organizations across the United States have been pioneering approaches to enhance and conserve urban forested natural areas locally, but these efforts have never been summarized at a national scale.
In 2018, the Natural Areas Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, and the Yale School of the Environment completed the first-ever survey of organizations that manage the nation’s urban forested natural areas.

The NAC heard from representatives from 125 organizations, in 111 cities, across 40 states. This report presents an overview of the state of urban forested natural areas management across the nation.

In a nutshell, the resource offers:

  • A summary of the management objectives, activities, and threats for urban forested natural areas across the United States, include what actions are being taken in urban forested natural areas, why, and what challenges exist
  • forested natural areas, why, and what challenges exist Recommendations to strengthen communities by investing in forests, promote forests as a climate solution, strengthen partnerships, improve data availability, and increase investment in forested natural areas
  • A comprehensive picture of the overlapping ecological and organizational challenges in urban forested natural areas
  • A list of organizations and governments engaged in urban forested natural area management

How to use this resource:

  • For examples of the actions taken in and challenges commonly faced by urban forested natural areas in the United States
  • To demonstrate to stakeholders that urban forested natural areas require ongoing care and investment
  • As a source of talking points that highlight the values and benefits of urban forested natural areas
Read Report(this link opens in new window)

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