Image by Christophe Schindler from Pixabay

The new StoryMap provides an in-depth look at the state of the City’s urban forest, highlighting why trees are important, information about the existing tree canopy, and more! 

Read NYC Parks’ latest Medium post to hear more from Parks Data Scientists about how and why the story map was created

NYC Parks today announced the completion of a brand-new StoryMap highlighting the City’s trees, canopy, and forestry maintenance titled “Our Urban Forest.” Through the StoryMap, Parks has compiled the most comprehensive look at the City’s urban forest to date, complete with information on the city’s process for caring for trees; contextual data on the coverage and expansion of the City’s urban canopy; and additional information on tree services requests, inspections, and more.  

In tandem with the release of “Our Urban Forest,” Parks is relaunching its Medium platform with a detailed post from NYC Parks Deputy Chief of Data Systems & Analytics Uma Bhandaram, titled “Our Urban Forest StoryMap: How we Tell the Complete Story of our Tree Canopy.” In the post, Chief Bhandaram gives a behind-the-scenes look at this database, lending an expert voice to describe the rationale and process for the creation of the story map. 

“Through our new StoryMap, we’re giving New Yorkers a behind-the-scenes look into our vast urban forest, and sharing, in depth, the steps we’re taking to make it the most resilient in the nation,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “We will continue to prioritize, protect, and work to expand our city’s urban forest, and I invite all New Yorkers to visit the new StoryMap, learn about the city’s natural canopy, and do their part to help keep our city’s trees happy and healthy.” 

With the release of “Our Urban Forest,” Parks’ main goal is to educate the public on the importance of the City’s urban forest and the tree services provided by the department. Incorporating multiple different datasets on street trees, park trees, existing canopy, canopy change over time, and tree services, the story map looks to answer several important questions for New Yorkers about their trees: why they are important, where they grow, how they change over time, how they are cared for, and how the public can get involved. 

The story map follows the December 2022 release of the NYC Tree Map— a first-of-its-kind living tree map showcasing nearly one million individually managed City trees. The NYC Tree Map includes newly mapped, in-park trees that have unique IDs, species information, and maintenance status, allowing New Yorkers to digitally interact with all 800,000+ landscaped park and street trees in real time.  

NYC Parks actively cares for more than 800,000 mapped trees—650,000 street trees and more than 150,000 trees in parks—across the city. Parks’ tree planting program recently celebrated a milestone season with more than 13,000 trees planted citywide in fiscal year 2022, more than planted in the past five fiscal years. Parks is also furthering its commitment to increasing equitable planting and targeting plantings in areas that need trees most with a $112 million allocation from the Adams administration. For more information, please see NYC Parks’ recent release on tree planting efforts.