Planting trees and tree management to protect the growth and lifespan of trees has many co-benefits including stormwater reduction, improved public health, improved water and air quality, energy savings, and other human and environmental benefits. Trees help stabilize the soil, which reduces stormwater runoff and creates stormwater management cost savings. Reduced stormwater decreases soil erosion and pollutant runoff into City creeks and other waterways. Trees increase groundwater recharge, increasing storage of water in the soil and aquifers. Beyond benefiting the City water management system, trees have economic, aesthetic, and health benefits from reduced noise pollution, higher commercial and residential property values, lower air conditioning costs, increased patronage of and spending at businesses, decreased effects of air pollution, decreased recovery time for hospital patients, lower crime rates, and other benefits.
The City of Willits seeks to promote the benefits of trees, maintain the urban forest to ensure diversity of age and species, mitigate canopy loss, minimizes hazards, and, when appropriate, conserve heritage trees that contribute to the city’s “urban forest.” The City also wishes to align with state and federal urban forestry goals such as: mitigating and adapting to climate change; protecting and improving water and air quality; conserving energy; reducing the impacts of development; improving community health and well-being, building urban forest resilience, and sequestering carbon emissions in our urban trees.