Project Green Space
Daly City is the 9th most densely populated city in the entire country. And, the City experiences one of the highest pollution burdens within the County of San Mateo. We need trees in our urban environment now more than ever! Help make Daly City greener, cleaner, and more resilient - for generations to come! Sign up to adopt a free tree or volunteer to plant trees and rain gardens!
Urban Trees in a Changing Climate - Creating a Resilient Urban Forest in Daly City
As the largest city in San Mateo County and the 9th most densely populated in the country, Daly City is truly an impervious, concrete jungle. The urban canopy is estimated to cover less than 5% of the land area. Vegetation that does exist is largely introduced ornamentals and invasive species. Urban trees have steadily declined from drought, disease, and damage. Our new climate reality of increasing drought conditions destabilizes the landscape and can lead to localized flooding, landslides, and accelerated cliff erosion, especially during increasingly intense weather events that are projected under climate change.
As the "Gateway to the Peninsula", two major highways spew air pollution into densely developed areas, harming public health. Our shrinking urban forest simply cannot counter these impacts.
Growing the Urban Forest
Project Green Space has kicked off what will become decades of work to green urban spaces in Daly City. The City will rely heavily on all of you to help make this happen as volunteers in your communities. Does your street need trees? Do you know of vacant land that might be a good planting site? Want to help spread the word about the benefits of trees?
We welcome you all to join Project Green Space.
Value of Trees
Urban trees have tremendous value for public health, neighborhood beautification, and climate change mitigation and adaptation such as:
- Trees filter air pollutants, including particulate matter. This is important because of parts of Daly City experience some of the highest pollution burdens in the entire County, mostly due to air pollution from highways.
- Trees suck up stormwater after heavy rainfall events (which are expected to intensify) and release it slowly, reducing flood risk.
- Trees stabilize soils prone to erosion.
- Trees and rain gardens purify the water of contaminants and help recharge depleted groundwater resources.
- Trees capture and store carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.
- Trees are even good for business! People visit and spend more money in business districts that are tree-lined.
- Green spaces help alleviate many of the stressors in a dense, urban environment.
Essentially, trees act as a form of insurance against the impacts of climate change and pollutants. Without them, we are completely exposed.
Our current urban forest consists of 7,415 individual trees that have a combined estimated value of $18,802,720! This valuation, however, does not account for all of the myriads of benefits that trees provide.
Top 10 Species
The chart depicts the top 10 species in Daly City. As you can see, the top three species account for almost half of all our trees! The most widespread tree, the Monterey Pine, is dying off from a pitch canker disease, which spreads quicker in drought conditions. This species alone, some 2000 individuals, is estimated to be worth $5,000,000 to the City. Our next two predominant species, Monterey Cypress and Eucalyptus, are each valued between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000 each!
Overall, we do not have a diverse urban forest and this has much larger implications for long-term resilience. Forests that are not diverse succumb to external shocks quickly, like disease, drought, and storms.