Benefits of Plants - Economics

Plants Bring Communities Together: The Benefits of Human‐Plant Interactions
By Dr. Charles R. Hall
Ellison Chair in International Floriculture
Texas A&M University
Department of Horticultural Sciences

In today’s challenging economic climate, community leaders are seeking new ways to attract and retain citizens, develop prosperous economies, add intellectual capital, and create jobs. The drivers that create emotional bonds between people and their community are consistent in virtually every city and can be reduced to just a few categories. Interestingly, the usual suspects — jobs, the economy, and safety — are not among the top drivers. Rather, people consistently give higher ratings for elements that relate directly to their daily quality of life including such things as an area’s physical beauty, opportunities for socializing, and a community’s perceived level of openness to all people.

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Soul of the Community

www.soulofthecommunity.org
A three-year study conducted by Gallup of the 26 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation communities across the United States employing a fresh approach to determine the factors that attach residents to their communities and the role of community attachment in an area's economic growth and well-being. The study focuses on the emotional side of the connection between residents and their communities.

Plant Blindness
www.botany.org/bsa/psb/2001/psb47-1.pdf
Plant blindness is the inability to see or notice the plants in one’s own environment. The inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere, and in human affairs, leading to the erroneous conclusion that they are unworthy of human consideration


Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System

In 2003, The Trust for Public Land's Center for City Park Excellence gathered two dozen park experts and economists in Philadelphia for a colloquium to analyze how park systems economically benefit cities. Based on this conversation and subsequent consultation with other leading economists and academics, the center identified seven attributes of city park systems that provide economic value and can be measured.
Learn the seven attributes.

How Much Value Does the City of Philadelphia Receive from its Park and Recreation System?
Philadelphia's parks provide the city and its residents with huge value: $23 million in city revenue; $16 million in municipal cost savings and a $1.1 billion in cost savings for citizens.
Read the full report.

National Trails - Comprehensive List of Studies on Trails Throughout the U.S.
Business on the trails, economic impact studies, economic benefits, trails and tourism, valuing trails, and other ways that outdoor recreation and greenways contribute to the economy and livability of communities.
Explore their website and multiple resources.

Economic Impacts of the Florida Botanical Gardens and Related Cultural Attractions in Pinellas County Florida
Results revealed that the combined cultural attractions will stimulate output by $170.1 million, increase employment by 2,409 jobs, stimulate value-added by $92.1 million and increase labor income by $63.8 million between the years 2000 and 2002.
Read the full study.

The Economic Impact of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Greater Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Zoo is an important source of jobs and earnings for local workers—generating over 1,600 jobs with $42.7 million in earnings, and drawing nearly 63 percent of its own staff from among county residents. The Cincinnati Zoo is a powerful economic engine—producing $124.6 million in economic impact for the region from its $36.6 million in expenditures, and drawing many visitors to Cincinnati, to the benefit of many other businesses and attractions in the Cincinnati area.
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The Whitmire Study

This study for Gateway Greening focuses on 54 of the gardens it sponsors in St. Louis, Missouri. To examine the relationship between community gardens and their immediate neighborhood.
Read their findings.

Phipps Botanical Gardens and Conservatory Economic Impact Statement
Studies have shown that cultural institutions are a corporation’s key to employee attraction and retention. Phipps is a leader in sustainable building technology, a valuable nexus of horticultural display and education, and an esteemed showcase for horticulture and fine art exhibits. The Conservatory is a strong draw for people of all ages whose interests range from gardening to architecture to eco-stewardship.
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The Impact of Parks, Open Space and Water Features on Residential Property Values and the Property Tax Base
The provision of park and recreation opportu-nities for their own sake still lacks political clout. They have to be shown to solve commu-nity problems before politicians see them as being worthy of funding. Many taxpayers are not frequent users of park and recreation ser-vices and, thus, have difficulty understanding why they should support them.
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How Much Value Does the City of Wilmington Receive from Its Park and Recreation System?
Wilmingtonians truly are getting pleasure and satisfaction—all $42 million worth—from their use of the parks. If they had to pay and if they consequently reduced some of this use, they would be materially “poorer” from not doing some of the things they enjoy.
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The Wharton Study

The study finds that vacant land improvements result in surrounding housing values increasing by as much as 30%, an astonishingly large impact. New tree plantings increase surrounding housing values also substantially by  approximately 10%. In the New Kensington area this translates to a $4 million gain in property value through tree
plantings and a $12 million gain through lot improvements.
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Economic Impacts of Parks, Rivers, Trails, and Greenways
parks and corridors also have the potential to create jobs, enhance property values, expand local businesses, attract new or relocating businesses, increase local tax revenues, decrease local government expenditures, improve health and enhance a local community, among other benefits.
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The Central Park Effect
Since its creation 150 years ago, Central Park has been among New York City’s most valuable assets. The Park’s value to the City’s economy can be viewed from several perspectives.
Learn more about the park's impact.

Economic Benefits of Trails and Greenways
Trails and greenways increase the natural beauty of communities. They also have been shown to bolster property
values and make adjacent properties easier to sell.
Read more.

Why Shade Streets? The Unexpected Benefit
We would all prefer to walk down a tree-lined street to one without trees, but did you know that the street itself prefers to run under trees? This report examines the cost-saving benefits of having shaded streets. All other factors equal, the condition of pavement on tree-shaded streets is better than on unshaded streets.
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Trees Reduce Summertime Electricity Use
A recent study shows that shade trees on the west and south sides of a house in California can reduce a homeowner's summertime electric bill by about $25.00 a year.
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The Benefits of Plants and Landscaping
www.floridagardening.org
Plants give us food and shelter, but what else do they do for us? The Benefits of Plants and Landscaping summarizes and compiles recent research that reveals the larger role plants play in everyday life. Compiled by Marc S. Frank.

Trees offer outstanding return on investment
The City of Portland Oregon Parks & Recreation department recently published a report that examines the benefits of the urban tree canopy, which covers about 25 % of the city. The report calculates the dollar value of environmental and aesthetic benefits that trees provide the city.
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Nature and Consumer Environments
A series of studies has investigated associations between the urban forest and people’s response to shopping settings. Read more.