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Lisa Ciecko, Forterra, lciecko@forterra.org (Presenter)

 

The urban forest, whether along streets, in backyards, or in neighborhood greenbelts, provides social and ecological benefits. Urban forests have been shown to positively affect public health and the environment, reducing the heat island effect, decreasing storm water and subsequent sediment runoff, and intercepting air pollution. Preserving ecosystem services in urban areas is critical to making cities healthy, desirable places to live and work, which has a lasting effect on the conservation of natural resources and working lands throughout the region. In order to justify urban forestry efforts, it has become increasingly important to quantify the ecosystem services provided by trees and other vegetation. i-Tree Eco (formerly the Urban Forest Effects Model) was developed by the USDA Forest Service and includes plot-based field data collection to estimate vegetation and ground cover characteristics to characterize the structure of the urban forest and model values for common services like pollution interception, carbon storage and sequestration, and residential energy savings. This presentation explores the application and effectiveness of i-Tree Eco in the Pacific Northwest. We will share our experience collecting, analyzing, and making use of results for three project areas: City of Seattle, King County Parks, and the Green-Duwamish River Corridor in southern King County, WA.