TreeRx-Prescribing Urban Trees for Community Health

Student: Madison Masters, Daniel Norez, Kelly Rhoden

Community Partner: North Florida Land Trust

There are many positive benefits to trees in an urban environment. Not only do trees contribute to cleaning our air and water, planting trees can promote public health, save energy, and reduce crime rates. The central research question of this project is what trees can be planted in the urban environment to help improve community issues. By creating an urban forestry plan, we are able to determine the “right tree for the right place.” An undergraduate anthropology student is utilizing ArcGIS software to create multiple maps to assess the many known benefits of trees and develop a planting strategy for the Historic Springfield and Eastside neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL. Two undergraduate public health students are researching past studies and health-based databases in order to find statistics about the target population. The public health students will also research native trees to compare the cost benefits and health benefits of each tree. By working with Groundwork Jacksonville, we are able to make connections with planting trees and improvements to air quality, water quality, microclimate creation, food, flood control, phytoremediation and neighborhood aesthetics. A final guide of tree care and maintenance will be provided to the neighborhood in which the trees will be planted, in order to maintain positive long-term tree growth. The expected outcome of this study is to have a community tree-planting guide; academic quality urban forestry plan for Springfield and Eastside; a reusable application on the benefits of urban trees and their care and maintenance.