The Big Apple’s estimated five million trees do more than just add some greenery to New York’s hustle and bustle, according to the city’s parks department.
In honor of Arbor Day, the agency will release Friday the first findings of the U.S. Forest Service’s iTree audit. The data showed the deep importance of the greenery in both parks and on the streets, according to Parks Department official Jennifer Greenfeld.
“Trees in New York City are essential to the livelihood of all New Yorkers — from the trees growing along the streets, to those that shade playgrounds across our 7,000 acres of forested parks, ” she said in a statement.
The findings include:
Trees remove at least 1,300 tons of pollutants from the air which saves at least $93 million from avoided sick days, doctor’s visits, and other avoided health costs.
Trees in NYC keep at least 1.9 billion gallons of stormwater runoff from entering the city’s sewer system and waterways each year.
Shades from trees reduce energy costs by at least $17 million annually.
Trees in NYC take up at least 61,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year out of the air, which is equivalent to removing at least 12,000 cars from the road.