The next time you find yourself staring up at the leafy green canopy over your Southwest Minneapolis street with satisfaction, rest assured your pride is well-founded.
The blue-ribbon panel who ran the study praised the extensiveness of the city's canopy—it covers 31 percent of the city—and valued the trees at $756 million. The forest also reduces energy use by $216,000 per year, the study said, estimating that the reduction in energy usage reduces carbon emissions at an estimated value of $16,000.
Part of the job for maintaining those trees falls to the Linden Hills-based nonprofit People for Parks. Founded at the height of the Dutch Elm Disease epidemic to help the city replace lost trees with donations from the community, the group has expanded its efforts to fund improvements in parks throughout the city alongside the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.
The award comes as the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board confirmed that Emerald Ash Borer beetles have spread to Southwest Minneapolis, near Lakewood Cemetery. Many of the city's street trees are ash trees, and may eventually have to be phased out if the Ash Borer spreads further and faster.