Tree Coverage and Equity in the City of Rochester

In Autumn, we may think of trees with fondness (all the colorful leaves) or irritation (raking all the colorful leaves).  Whatever our feelings about trees, data show that tree coverage in our neighborhoods is related to many other things.

Justin Murphy, education reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle, recently compiled health, climate, and tree coverage data for the City of Rochester. These data illustrate the racial and economic disparities literally rooted in our neighborhoods’ trees.

Census tracts with sparse tree coverage have higher summer temperatures, higher rates of poor mental health, and higher rates of poverty.

Visit the RocHealthData map room to see these and additional related socio-demographic information.

Justin’s reports were produced as part of his USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2021 Data Fellowship. For more information on his detailed analyses, please see the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle articles.

Justin will be speaking about his work at #GetRocTrees on Saturday, October 29 at 10:30 a.m. at the Central Library Teen Center. Sponsored by East High School’s Get Real! Science students, the event will also include opportunities to learn from Councilman Mitch Gruber about how families can get involved in the City’s Tree Plan. Connect with them on Instagram and Twitter @getrealscience.

RocHealthData is pleased to host these data and we thank Justin and his team for sharing this information with our members.

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