A greenhouse with long rows of evergreen tree seedlings arrayed on tables.
Lucky Peak Nursery © Traci Swift/TNC

Stories in Idaho

Planting a Healthy Future

From urban forestry to rural plantings, TNC Idaho is working with partners to create a healthier future.

Tree planting is one of the activities TNC scientists have identified to address climate change through Natural Climate Solutions. Here in Idaho, TNC has multiple tree-related projects that are working to address climate change.

City of Trees Challenge

TNC is proud to be a lead partner in the City of Trees Challenge. This effort, launched on Arbor Day 2020 by Boise City Council President Elaine Clegg, the City of Boise and the Treasure Valley Canopy Network, aims to plant 100,000 trees in Boise (one for every household) and 235,000 seedlings in forests around Idaho (one for every resident) by the year 2030. Planting will begin in Spring 2021 with 37,000 seedlings planted in the Boise National Forest thanks to funding from the Arbor Day Foundation. By working with both urban and rural partners, we believe this effort will connect all Idahoans, because Idaho's changing climate is impacting the places we love, our lifestyles and the health of our communities.

City of Trees logo.

City Forest Credits

The Treasure Valley City Forest Credits Program was developed as a key recommendation from the 2017 Treasure Valley Forest Carbon Assessment, developed by TNC, Treasure Valley Tree Canopy Network and Ecosystem Sciences Foundation.

The assessment helps us better understand how the current community forest mitigates regional carbon impacts and how future investments in tree planting, care and recycling can sustain more resilient natural resources and economies within our region.

The Treasure Valley Parks Pilot Project, in partnership with Treasure Valley Canopy Network, City of Nampa and City of Boise, has planted 695 trees in 9 city parks since 2018. These trees will produce ecosystem services valued at over $33,000 over the next 25 years. Through a partnership with City Forest Credits, Treasure Valley Canopy Network has secured 1,043 City Forest Carbon+ Credits that are now available for purchase by a carbon buyer.

Diagram showing how carbon credits are created by forestry and tree planting projects and used to offset pollution.
Carbon Credit Cycle Carbon Credits © The Nature Conservancy Magazine

Key Findings from the Treasure Valley Forest Carbon Assessment

  • Project partners planted over 8,200 trees since 2013.
  • After 25 years, these trees can store 15,200 metric tons of CO2. This is an amount equivalent to taking 5,400 Treasure Valley drivers off the roads for one year.
  • If these plantings had earned carbon credits, they would be worth between $304,200 and $532,400, which could have been used to support planting and maintenance costs.
Three women planting a tree.
A growing movement The Brightside Organization, The Nature Conservancy, UPS and Brown-Forman partnered to plant 150 trees at Shawnee Park in Louisville, Kentucky. © Devan King/TNC

Treasure Valley Canopy Network

TNC Idaho is a member of the Treasure Valley Canopy Network. This collaborative works towards sustainable development of the Treasure Valley’s urban forest. Their mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities through collaboration, innovation and sustainability. Many of the projects listed on this page were completed through this partnership.

Treasure Valley Canopy Network logo.

Canopy Continuum

Through the Treasure Valley Canopy Network and a partnership with Portland State University, TNC has participated in the Canopy Continuum Project. This project explores the link between environmental and human health in communities using data from air quality, urban tree canopy and urban heat. The results of this effort are informing regional climate resilience efforts, including the City of Trees Challenge and City of Boise's Climate Action.