The Nature Conservancy‘s mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.
The Nature Conservancy is looking to connect with DU faculty and students on the following projects:
- Research Design/ Data Collection/ Data Analysis: Collect, analyze, and/or model new or existing data related to tree canopy, the built environment, and environmental factors such as heat and air quality to better understand existing conditions in vulnerable neighborhoods (Globeville, Elyria-Swansea to start), potential future scenarios depending on varied levels of investment in new tree canopy, and associated public health outcomes.
- The Nature Conservancy is working in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods of Denver to develop an implementation plan to move the community from 5% tree canopy to 20% tree canopy over an urgent but realistic time-frame (e.g., by 2050). We are hoping to develop a program with the City and other partners to invest in nearly 10,000 trees in the neighborhood to be planted over the next decade.
- Data Collection/ Data Analysis: As part of that plan, we want to better understand what current social, cultural, economic, and psychological beliefs and barriers might exist regarding trees and planting trees; what strategies or resources might help the community overcome some of those challenges and influence them to plant and care for new and existing trees; and how might we be able to broadly brand and market a large tree planting initiative to encourage participation and build community interest.
- Literature Review/ Policy Review: We want to understand what policies and administrative frameworks (e.g., city rules, regulations, subsidies, accounting standards, etc.) other communities and cities have put in place to increase tree canopy and to build resilience in the face of a hotter future. This could include a high-level assessment of other cities resiliency plans, but the greatest help would be a deeper analysis of specific policies, regulations, and programs that might have the greatest applicability to Denver, and ideally would support a more robust and resilient tree canopy.
- Research Design/ Data Collection/ Data Analysis: We want to figure out how to encourage a community-led stewardship model that would support community members in the stewardship of the new trees; how to help community members develop new skills; and what would encourage greater community-wide interest and participation in the program.