How to Save and Regrow Tree Canopies in American Cities

How can save and regrow tree canopies in American Cities? We speak to Aimee Esposito, Executive Director of Trees Matter, a tree advocacy program in central Arizona. At Trees Matter, they recognize that trees are hard at work, giving shade on hot summer days, but also working against bigger issues like carbon emission and air pollution.

You might not know that just having more trees can cool a city down — these root-footed friends of ours work hard to combat the so-called "urban heat island" effect. While Aimee and the Trees Matter team both provide and plant trees, a large part of their mission involves changing the culture around trees. For this reason, they actively work with schools, researchers, community groups, and even utility companies to take a holistic, people-focused approach to promoting tree canopy growth across "the Valley.”

The Trees Matter team recognizes that the benefits of trees aren't always shared equally, so they pay special attention to how certain communities are disproportionately affected by the tree planting and beautification of years past.

And don't worry — even during a pandemic, Trees Matter has managed to keep up their tree advocacy with "digital planting." While Aimee jokes that taking care of a tree is “like having a pet,” the truth is that we should realize the importance of trees, whether those trees show up on our city streets or in our backyard.

At Trees Matter, tree advocacy is “not just thinking about the tree when it gets planted, but for the rest of its life.“

Join SolveCaster Andrew Bernier to learn more about Trees Matter and how you can get involved in tree advocacy in your city.


Andrew Bernier, PhD
Sustainability, Education Equity and Systems Thinking Research/Design
More about Andrew Bernier, PhD
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