Tree Canopy, Heat Island, and Carbon Sequestration Study for the City of Maplewood

People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world that will not sustain people.
— Bryce Nelson

The City of Maplewood worked with paleBLUEdot llc to study the City’s overall Tree Canopy, Land Cover, and Carbon Sequestration study. The intent of this study was to support the City of Maplewood in understanding the nature and proportion of land coverage throughout the City and in establishing appropriate goals and strategies to improve the environmental impacts and opportunities related to land coverage. 

The study identified and mapped City-wide land coverage by type including trees, grass/wetlands, open water, roads, buildings with dark roofs, and buildings with light roofs.  Using the tree coverage data tree canopy benefits were calculated and mapped - including pollution reduction, air quality improvement, carbon sequestration, building energy savings, and overall economic benefit provided to the City.  Using the total land coverage data City-wide benefits and impacts of land cover characteristics were calculated and mapped - Including heat island conditions and contributions, storm water runoff, water uptake, and total carbon sequestration.

All calculations and mapping was developed by neighborhood and to a standard error of 2% or less.  By mapping conditions and benefits by neighborhood, the study identifies not only general areas for improvement but also prioritizes the actions needed within each neighborhood of the City.

Finally, the study recommends long-term goals, by neighborhood, for Tree Canopy coverage, lawns and grasslands, and heat island mitigation.  The report includes a menu of over 50 strategies that the City can choose from and implement to support achieving these long-term goals.