Growing Greener: Eco-Structure for Climate Resilience

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) partnered with King County, Washington, to help develop the Urban and Community Forestry Climate Preparedness and Response (CPR) tool. Using this online tool, landowners can view their own property using Geographic Information System (GIS), which then quantifies and explains existing land and forest characteristics (e.g., total forest carbon stored at a particular site). NWF produced this guide designed to help local governments, organizations, and others replicate the CPR website and tool for their own communities, while also learning about the ways in which green infrastructure can provide natural protection from the impacts of climate change. The guide includes a case study of the King County Forest CPR development process, guidance for selecting data sources for the tool, and lessons learned from the King County project.

The first section of this guide provides an overview of the ways in which climate change is impacting urban areas, and describes how nature-based approaches, like enhancing and protecting the urban tree canopy and reducing impervious surfaces, can help communities build resilience to climate impacts. The report offers recommendations for integrating climate change considerations into the planning for and management of urban forests, along with a chapter about managing for pests in a changing climate. The last sections of the report include regionally-specific resources and information to help enhance forestry health and subsequently increase the amount of carbon that urban trees are able to sequester.

The development of this guide and the tool and website on which it is based was made possible with support from the U.S. Forest Service National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant Program. This guide was developed by Kara E. Reeve, Manager of National Wildlife Federation’s Climate-Smart Communities Program, with support from additional NWF staff including Ian Evans, Patty Glick, Laura Hickey, Ryan Kingston, and Jennifer Murk.

 

Publication Date: May 2013

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