Detroit Tree Equity Program

Detroit, MI

American Forests is a leading nonprofit with a mission to create healthy and resilient forests, from cities to wilderness, that “deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife.” CIS staff have worked on a team led by American Forests to assist with a key public-private partnership across the City of Detroit called the Detroit Tree Equity Partnership (DTEP).

Project Scope

  • Tax-exempt Revenue Bond
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Runoff Calculations
  • Equity Considerations
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Water Quality and Ecosystem Health
  • Private and Public Sector Partners
  • Federal Funding Applications

Supported by the Detroit Mayor’s office, DTEP presents a unique opportunity to combat climate change while providing economic opportunities to Detroiters. Improving urban tree canopy directly correlates with better health, economic, environmental, and social outcomes, which translates to meaningful change in the quality of life for Detroit residents and the outlook for Detroit’s private industries. The program will provide critical carbon sequestration benefits and increase Detroit’s resilience to intense rainfall and rising temperatures due to the region’s changing climate. DTEP will also provide meaningful job training and skill development opportunities to Detroit’s residents.


CIS staff have assisted the American Forests team with research and analyses of similar efforts elsewhere in the nation, ran runoff savings (due to improved urban canopy) calculations, and participated in various stakeholder engagement meetings on goals that include:

  • Plant 75,000 trees during a 5-year pilot period with a goal of addressing the city’s need for 1.2 million trees over the long-term
  • Train Detroit residents in tree planting and provide job placement pathways to full-time, year-round tree care industry jobs
  • Operate community engagement initiatives to build long-term community support and care for planted trees
  • Provide carbon credit, stormwater mitigation, and public health outcome-based investment and philanthropic opportunities.


American Forests
City of Detroit


2022 -2023