Case Study

City Planning

Boise, ID: Innovative Collaboration in the Treasure Valley


Credit: Valley Family Health Care

Leaders throughout greater Boise are building a new and innovative model for community investment toward strategic urban forest management.

Boise Metro Area, ID

Semi-arid continental climate with four distinct seasons


89.80% White, 0.52% African American, 0.80% Native American, 1.38% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 5.02% from other races, and 2.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.96% of the population

Different from the traditional approach of building a local tree advocacy and planting organization, the Treasure Valley Canopy Network (which covers the Boise metro area) moves beyond counting trees and advocating for their care. Focusing instead on collective urban forest impact through the lens of ecosystem services, partners in the Treasure Valley Canopy Network (the Network) focus on engaging in local projects through collaboration with public, private and non-profit sectors.

Professionals from diverse disciplines, including transportation, natural resources, academia, economics, rural development and energy, have come together as active collaborators to strategically incorporate tree canopy into infrastructure projects for diverse objectives.

This effort kicked off in 2013 with an urban tree canopy assessment funded by a US Forest Service Cooperative Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration grant. The initial project focus was on air quality, but since the assessment was completed priorities and projects have shifted to focus on stormwater mitigation and energy conservation.

The Treasure Valley Shade Tree Project, also funded by Cooperative Forestry in partnership with the Idaho Department of Lands and Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy Saving Trees Program, emerged as the first project growth from the Network’s efforts. This project has provided more than 7,500 shade trees to residents throughout the Treasure Valley. Idaho Power Company, in partnership with the Network and diverse public and private partners, executes this project and is calculating the impacts of these shade trees on energy consumption during peak use periods during the summer months.

The Network’s latest undertaking focuses using tree canopy to support healthy and active lifestyles.

  • Since the US Forest Service’s Cooperative Forestry program supported development of this visionary initiative, the Network and its partners have leveraged a 1.6:1 ratio in local investment beyond the initial federal investment.
  • The initial state and federal support is now giving way to funding from member organizations and other public, private and non-profit funding sources that will keep the Treasure Valley Canopy Network moving forward.

To learn more, visit:

  • Idaho Department of Lands
  • The Keystone Concept
  • Ecosystem Sciences Foundation
  • ACHD
  • Idaho Power
  • Nampa, Idaho
  • Boise Parks and Recreation
  • Meridian, Idaho
  • Kuna, Idaho
  • Forty Solutions
  • Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
  • Conservation Economics Institute
  • Idaho Resource Conservation & Development
  • Idaho Nursery and Landscape Association
  • Jayker Nursery
  • US Green Building Council – Idaho Chapter
  • Idaho Smart Growth
  • Compass Community Planning Association
  • Capital City Development Corporation
  • The Nature Conservancy – Idaho
  • Shift Strategies
  • St. Luke’s Medical Center
  • St. Alphonsus Hospital
  • HEAL Idaho (Health Eating, Active Living)


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