FOR230/FR292: Comparison of Community Leader Perceptions on Urban Forests in South Florida:
An urban forest is composed of all the trees and associated understory plants growing in urban areas, including streets, yards, parking lot islands, parks, rights-of-way and other natural areas within the urban environment. Research has shown that urban forests provide many benefits to city dwellers including temperature and energy use reduction, improvement of air and water quality, reduced crime and improved aesthetics, all of which can increase property values (Escobedo and others 2008). However, the preservation and maintenance of urban forests costs money, and the costs must be planned and budgeted for (Escobedo and Seitz 2009). To create, maintain, and preserve urban forests, it is important that urban foresters, arborists, planners, and land managers who deal with trees understand what residents, community leaders and decision makers think about trees, including how much they value them. This fact sheet will compare the results from a survey conducted in Broward and Hillsborough Counties in Florida. We will share initial insights into one group of community leaders' perceptions and beliefs regarding urban trees in Florida and beyond.