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The original item was published from 2/20/2015 8:26:57 AM to 2/21/2015 12:05:00 AM.

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Posted on: February 9, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Eugene’s Parks, Natural Areas, and Urban Forest

park jogger with dogs

The Parks and Open Space Division is releasing Nature’s Value – An Economic View of Eugene’s Parks, Natural Areas, and Urban Forest. The study done by Earth Economics, is the first-ever valuation of the economic benefits people receive from Eugene’s parks, natural areas, trees and waterways. Eugene’s natural capital provides a stream of nature’s benefits, or ecosystem services that include clean air, water quality, reduced flood risk, and recreation, as well as increased home prices near parks and natural areas. According to Nature’s Value, the value of key ecosystem services in Eugene is on average $42.4 million per year.

Earth Economics is a Tacoma, Washington-based independent, non-partisan non-profit that provides robust, science-based, ecologically sound economic analysis, policy recommendations, and tools to positively transform regional, national and international economics, and asset accounting systems.

Earth Economics reports that Eugene’s parks and natural areas, including green spaces along waterways, provide natural filtration and reduce the amount of pollution flowing in the water, saving an average $5.4 million in stormwater processing costs each year. These areas also help protect the community from flood damage by absorbing and intercepting heavy rains. In addition, the study looks at the amount of energy savings and climate protection provided by Eugene’s urban forest. Another area covered is the increase in property value for homes near parks and open spaces that add up to an average of $13.5 million in benefits each year, and the value people derive from the diversity of recreation opportunities offered in Eugene.

For more information, contact City of Eugene Parks and Open Space Natural Areas Restoration Supervisor Trevor Taylor at
trevor.h.taylor@ci.eugene.or.us or 541-682-4888. An overview of the study is available for download at www.eugeneor.gov/parks. The full report can also be made available.

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