City of Cambridge Launches Healthy Forest Healthy City Initiative

Cambridge with trees and buildings

The City of Cambridge is launching the Healthy Forest Healthy City Initiative to help reshape its relationship with Cambridge’s urban forest and to provide opportunities for the Cambridge community to play a role in keeping the urban forest healthy and strong—and enjoy its many benefits. A healthy forest is a vital part of a healthy city and we all share a responsibility to care for our urban forest. 

The Healthy Forest, Healthy City Initiative sets the groundwork necessary to: 

  • Increase awareness of the benefits of the urban forest and engages community members to take action;
  • Achieve a minimum of 25% canopy cover by neighborhood and 60% canopy cover over sidewalks;
  • Grow and nurture a more diverse urban forest to be 30% canopy cover citywide;
  • Increase canopy cover on land owned by the city, individuals, businesses, and institutions by up to 25% by 2050.

The Healthy Forest Healthy City initiative came out of the development of the City of Cambridge’s Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP) a strategic plan to evaluate the urban forest canopy and its resilience to climate change and its ability to reduce the urban heat island effect, mitigate stormwater runoff, and contribute to community well-being. Through the Healthy Forest, Healthy City Initiative, the city’s efforts to reduce canopy loss and increase canopy growth will be guided by a focus on equity, shared responsibility, and resilience and offer homeowners, renters, universities, small and large business owners a chance to participate in caring for the urban forest. 

“The Cambridge Urban Forest is made up of all the trees throughout the city -- in parks and public green spaces, along streets and avenues, and on college campuses and private yards,” said Public Works Commissioner Owen O’Riordan. "It is our hope that we can all work together as a community to protect and expand this important resource by taking better care of existing trees and planting new trees that will benefit the people of Cambridge for years to come.” 

“By cultivating a healthy urban forest that is equitably distributed across our neighborhoods, we can create a stronger, healthier, greener Cambridge for everyone,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale.

The City will use the Healthy Forest Healthy City report as a guiding document to develop strategies for engaging homeowners, renters, small and large business owners, universities and other property owners on how they can contribute to an equitable and resilient urban forest. 

To read the full Healthy Forest Healthy City report


Page was posted on 4/27/2021 2:42 PM
Page was last modified on 4/27/2021 2:55 PM
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