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American Forests


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Economics, Geography

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, USA - South, USA - Midwest, USA - Northeast, Oregon, Willamette Valley / Portland Metro, Colorado, Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts

Tree Cover Comparison Based on Income

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  • This Instagram post shows the disparity in tree cover between neighborhoods in six cities: Denver, CO; Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Portland, OR; Columbus, OH; and Austin, TX. 
  • The image is accompanied by a description, which identifies the average income of each neighborhood. 
Teaching Tips


  • This resource provides a visual representation of inequality in urban areas.
  • Students will easily see the difference in tree cover between the two neighborhoods pictured.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the terms income and poverty.


  • This resource could be incorporated into science lessons about photosynthesis, ecology, and the carbon cycle to connect the biological functions of trees with their benefits to communities.
  • History, social studies, and civics classes could use this resource when discussing historical prejudices, practices such as redlining, or the need for community involvement in government decisions.
  • Other resources similar to this topic include the video What Happens if We Cut Down All of a City's Trees, the lesson plan Cities, Trees, and Inequality, and the lesson plan Urban Trees.
Scientist Notes
The resource describes the correlation existing between income level and tree cover. It depicts species richness and biodiversity levels with income using two scenarios in a city. Datasets on income are just estimates and not actual figures; educators should note these contradictions. This resource is recommended.
  • Social Studies
    • Economics
      • SS.Econ1.a.m Predict the opportunity costs of various decisions and explain why the opportunity cost might differ from person to person or in different situations. Assess how limited resources (e.g., money, land, natural resources, workers, time) impact the choices of individuals, households, communities, businesses, and countries.
    • Geography
      • SS.Geog1.b.m Interpret patterns in a variety of maps, charts, and graphs to display geographic information (contour, cartogram, population, natural resource, historical maps) and explain relationships among them.
    • Political Science
      • SS.PS3.d.m Analyze how governments address and solve problems through the public policy process.
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