Minneapolis/ Parks & Nature
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Published on May 18, 2024
Saint Paul Partners with Green Cities Accord to Expand Urban Forest and Battle Climate ChangeSource: Unsplash / Faith Crabtree

Saint Paul is putting down roots for a greener future. The city has a partnership with the Green Cities Accord to step up its urban forest game and fight climate change in the process. The City Council, in a rare moment of unity, gave the thumbs-up to join forces with this eco-friendly outfit.

As reported by Saint Paul's official news release, this deal is all about the dollars and sense of tree planting. According to Russ Stark, Saint Paul's Chief Resilience Officer who clearly knows his trees from his forests, "the tree planting that we are already doing will help pay for additional tree planting and maintenance," Stark laid out the green vision in a statement obtained by the press, calling it a "win-win for our community."

Don't be fooled into thinking it's just a local tree-hugging party. This project has some serious numbers to back it up. Saint Paul's Parks and Recreation folks have already planted 11,288 trees that are now getting pampered and monitored for 26 years. The payoff? A hefty 39,152 metric tons of carbon getting sucked out of the air, not to mention the fresh oxygen boost and cooler city streets.

Let's talk validation. This summer, some clipboard-toting tree auditors will verify the project. Post-check-up, the City Forest Credits will dish out the first 10% of the project's 29,755 carbon offsets. "Increasing investments in urban tree canopy infrastructure is an effective and cost efficient method to mitigate the worst effects of climate change on urban communities," said Michaela Neu of Green Cities Accord, sounding every bit like someone who knows the score in an ever-warming world.

Proceeds from selling these carbon goldmines, minus the admin fees, will make their way back to Saint Paul. There, they'll fuel more tree planting and tree TLC. With the Green Cities Accord holding the reins of the project for the next two and a half decades or so, Saint Paul's urban jungle is set to expand, shadowing the city with leafy goodness and some extra green in the bank. And with future plantings already on the agenda, the Saint Paul & Green Cities Accord might just become the next power couple in urban forestry.

Learn more about Saint Paul's tree-rific ambitions and the Green Cities Accord by following the forest trail to their official website.