Support for Our Community's Beautiful Urban Forest

Support for Our Community's Beautiful Urban Forest

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Ann Rivers started this petition to Garner Planning Commission and

Please show your support to protect one of my neighborhood’s most valuable assets, its green space and beautiful tree canopy. There are plans for development in our community that would remove very old and beautiful hardwoods (~80 or more years old). We are concerned because this urban forest means so much to our community.

The developer (Concept Eight LLC) plans to build 75 townhome units in our community. They also plan to remove a significant portion of the old growth forest now standing. The town of Garner requires only a minimum 35-foot buffer between neighborhoods.

This beautiful forested area provides for our community the following:

  • Clean water – urban forests reduce water pollution by filtering storm water of contaminants such as pesticides, greases, and oils.
  • Human health – Urban areas have higher rates of respiratory diseases including asthma, and stress related disorders such as anxiety, depression, and aggression. Urban forests reduce the risk of these negative health outcomes. Views of green landscapes reduce stress. Forests can also help clean the air and help those with asthma.
  • Air quality - Urban Air Pollution causes 200,000 premature deaths per year in the US from vehicle and power generation pollution. Urban trees remove more than 800,000 tons of air pollution each year in the US.
  • Inequity - Studies in Indiana, Chicago, Miami, Tampa, Los Angeles and elsewhere have shown that the lowest educated, minority, and poorest neighborhoods suffer the most from low tree canopy. In contrast, areas with higher income enjoy higher tree canopy.
  • Economic improvement - Forests are a cost-effective way to clean the air and water. Property values tend to decrease when there are fewer trees. By contrast, property values increase when there is a higher tree canopy. This will become more of an impact in Garner as more and more trees are removed.
  • Crime reduction - Studies in Chicago, Youngstown, and other cities show there is a strong relationship between higher levels of tree canopy and lower levels of crime, regardless of socioeconomic factors. Aggression is lower when nature is nearby.
  • Wildlife habitat and biodiversity - Forest-dwelling animals are threatened because of deforestation from sprawling development. Forest trees and plants provide homes and habitats for these species and other urban wildlife that we enjoy.

This green space provides a wide range of benefits to our neighborhood, but it faces the challenge of developmental pressure and ultimately removal. The Town of Garner must quickly and thoughtfully act to do more to preserve our valuable tree canopies.

As a member of our community, you can appreciate how our urban forests improve livability, sustainability, resilience, and equity. Our green spaces are a priceless asset. Please show your support to protect this beautiful urban forest.


Vibrant Cities Lab:

NCSU Protecting and Retaining Trees:

USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry:

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!