We have been spending time preparing for the SEMIS Coalition Community Forum at Eastern Michigan University where we will be sharing some of the work we have been doing. Part of this work includes our collaboration with We Are The Forest, a local organization devoted to ecosystem education and reforestation. In addition to planting a native tree library on the campus, the students have been using a website called i-Tree to assess the value of the trees on campus in terms of ecosystem services they provide.
While many of us understand the value of trees and the benefits they provide, that information isn’t usually quantified and framed in terms of savings in energy cost, stormwater management, filtration of pollutants and carbon sequestration. Using the software enabled the students to calculate the value of trees on our campus in terms of the ecosystem services they provide.