Reforesting Austin

Project Profile

Project Location

Austin, TX

Project Operator

Tree Folks

Project Type

Planting

Carbon+ Credits

539

Status

Credits committed

Contact

Andrew Smiley andrew@treefolks.org

TreeFolks is partnering with the City of Austin to plant trees near rivers and streams across the city. Our plan will increase canopy cover and diversity in riparian zones and parklands, creating a better city for current and future residents. 

In 2007, Mayor Steve Adler pledged that the City of Austin will be carbon neutral by 2020 as part of the Paris Climate Accord. Austin has reduced its carbon footprint significantly through renewable energy purchases and has determined that carbon offsets will be the best way to meet the rest of their goal. This project will generate local carbon credits to sell to Austin to help meet their goals. Using funds allocated for carbon offsets to purchase local credits from tree planting keeps investments in the City of Austin’s communities.   

The city’s recently adopted Water Forward plan sets a course to provide for the water demands of one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Water is a precious resource in central Texas, and rivers and streams with healthy forest buffers are critical to both water quality and quantity — as well as vital contributors to fish, bird, and wildlife habitat and our natural ecosystem. Reforesting public lands will buffer against the possibility of a catastrophic loss of Austin’s urban forest.

New riparian forests will also help to mitigate Austin’s urban heat island. Since heat islands can affect communities by increasing energy demand, air conditioning costs, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and heat-related illness and mortality, this reforestation program offers multiple ecosystem and human benefits.  

Through the efforts of our staff and many volunteers, TreeFolks has made great strides in slowing the tide of deforestation in Austin, TX. Community members, from preschoolers to park rangers, have contributed volunteer hours to improving the city and connecting with others.

The co-benefits from these planting sites create a total savings of $4,910.41 per year, and $122,760.25 over 25 years.

  • Rain interception: 931.25 m3/year, $2,435.63 per year
  • Air quality: 0.0824 tons/year, $13.74 per year
  • Energy – cooling (electricity): 25,922.41 kWh/year, $1,967.51 per year
  • Energy – heating: 26,553.68 kBtu/year, $275.90 per year

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