Welcome to Community Canopy, a unique program that provides free trees and guidance on where to plant trees to conserve energy, cool homes, and save money.
How it works
Community Canopy, uses a research-based, easy-to-use online mapping tool that takes the guesswork out of tree planting. By entering simple information about a home and yard, the tool calculates where to strategically plant trees for the greatest cooling, energy, and money saving benefits.
About the Program: Planting for Impact
Using research from the Vermont Department of Health, we can target the communities in Vermont that are most vulnerable to heat-related illness. These areas have high densities of exposed asphalt and rooftops but limited tree cover. As a result, residents in these areas can spend more money to cool their homes, and those without air conditioning can be at greater risk for heat illnesses.
In 2017, we partnered with the Vermont Climate & Health Program to provide 200 trees to residents in urbanized areas of Bennington and Newport. These communities were selected based on their relatively high risk for heat illnesses, in part due to lack of tree cover. During the first 20 years, the trees are expected to save participating residents over $275 in energy savings, while reducing atmospheric carbon by over 200,000 pounds, removing nearly 600 pounds of air pollutants, and intercepting over 1.5 million gallons of stormwater. The total estimated economic benefit for these household and ecosystem services is roughly $50,000.
We continued this program in 2018 and gave away 300 trees to residents in both Rutland and Barre, Vermont. In 2019, we returned to Barre and Rutland and expanded to St. Albans. In total, 450 trees were given to 235 residents.
When planted properly, a single mature tree can save a homeowner up to 20% on energy costs. For homes without air conditioning, shade trees can make the home feel cooler during summer heat. Planting trees can also:
- Add to a home’s property value
- Reduce a homeowner’s carbon footprint
- Improve air quality
- Reduce stormwater runoff
- Provide food and shelter for wildlife
This program is made possible by the Arbor Day Foundation, the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program, and the Vermont Department of Health’s Climate & Health Program.
We hope to be able to offer this program to more communities in the future. Let’s work together to harness the power of trees to conserve energy, cool communities, and save money.
If you have any questions, contact Gwen at email@example.com or 802-651-8343.