In February, TAZO Tea and American Forests launched the TAZO Tree Corps to bring tree equity and urban forestry jobs to U.S. cities.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities across the country have 20% fewer trees on average than in white communities. This lack of tree equity – a vision for all people in every community to receive the benefits that trees provide, regardless of income, race or location – affects everything from a neighborhood’s air and water quality, mental health, stormwater management, utility bills, property values, and economic resilience.
Planting trees alone isn’t enough to create tree equity. Cities need people who can plant and take care of those trees so that they’ll flourish and provide benefits for years to come. Meanwhile, the same neighborhoods with the highest need for trees, and who feel the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis are also impacted by unemployment and joblessness.
To address this, TAZO tea has partnered with American Forests to launch the TAZO Tree Corps, an urban forestry workforce that aims to transform lives by training and employing local fellows to plant and care for trees in the neighborhoods that need them the most. Achieving tree equity will require planting 31.4 million trees every year and an investment of at least $8.9 billion in urban forestry in the U.S. annually. Ultimately, scaling up urban forestry efforts would also support more than 228,000 jobs and store almost a billion metric tons of carbon.
The project is launching in Spring 2021 in Minneapolis, the San Francisco Bay area and Detroit, expanding to Richmond, VA, and The Bronx, NY in 2022.