Using Innovative Technology to Strategize Tree Planting for Climate Resilience.

A new mapping system is set to assist Marion County in determining where to prioritize tree planting efforts to enhance climate resilience and combat issues like flooding, heat illness, and air pollution in underrepresented neighborhoods.

American Forests, a non-profit conservation organization, in collaboration with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, has developed the Tree Equity Score Analyzer, a free tool that will help identify areas lacking tree canopies and guide planting initiatives.

Planting more trees can offer multiple benefits, such as moderating rising temperatures, managing stormwater to prevent flooding, and purifying the air. Joshua Simon from American Forests highlighted that the tool takes into account environmental benefits and socioeconomic factors to pinpoint the most critical locations for tree planting.

Recognizing the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities, Simon emphasized the importance of planting trees as a means to combat these challenges.

Partnered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, American Forests will implement the tool on the ground to engage the community in tree planting efforts. Carly Weidman from KIB expressed excitement about using TESA to raise awareness and facilitate informed discussions about tree equity citywide.

Given the recent record-breaking heat in Indianapolis, the significance of trees in mitigating climate impacts cannot be understated. Stephanie Freeman-Day from Indiana University highlighted the link between urban tree canopies and climate change resilience, stressing the need for equitable distribution of trees in urban areas.

The Tree Equity Score Analyzer is a valuable resource for communities planning tree planting projects. It offers insights into areas that lack tree canopies and supports efforts to address climate change effects. To access the tool, visit

The initiative underscores the critical role of trees in enhancing environmental resilience and fostering community well-being. By strategically planting trees, Marion County aims to build a more sustainable and climate-resilient future for all residents.