Tree canopy increases property values, help reduce utility bills, protect water quality, help recharge groundwater and prevent erosion. Trees clean our air, reduce sound pollution and make a significant contribution to the scenic quality of Broward County. Trees are major capital assets that provide local benefits and need local protection.
Broward County recently completed a survey of the tree canopy coverage using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) interpretation of aerial photographs of the County. The study area of urban Broward County includes 31 cities and unincorporated areas. Prospective uses for this information include assessment of tree canopy trends since the previous county-wide study was done using 1996 aerial photography. The survey will also be used to develop targets for future tree canopy by the various municipalities who are trying to develop achievable goals; and to evaluate achievable canopy coverage for various zoning and land use categories. The tree canopy survey provides the technical basis for the County’s Urban Forest Management Plan. It can also serve as the basis for future carbon sequestration efforts as part of enhanced sustainability efforts.
Sample of tree canopy study using GIS interpretation of an aerial photograph at Tree Tops Park.