Cities and citizens need forests

Launched by IFA in 2018, Forests for Indy is the first-ever proactive, data-driven initiative to identify, assess and plan to preserve forests remaining in Indianapolis. IFA has identified and ranked 4,237 urban forests, including the top 100 that offer the most benefits in terms of heat, flood, and pollution mitigation; wildlife habitat; and neighborhood quality of life.

Forests for Indy map
Click the map to learn more about 15 of the top 100 forests in Indianapolis.

To keep Indianapolis livable, we need to conserve much of the tree canopy that remains in Marion County and prevent its loss by default to development. These 4,327 forests and unprotected and could be lost to development at any time. 

What Forests Do for Indianapolis

  • Clean Our Air & Water:  City trees cool summer heat and filter pollution in air and water. Forests do this more efficiently than isolated trees.
  • Improve Your Health: People living near green space are more physically active, have extended life spans, and report greater overall well-being. Just seeing natural spaces has been proven to effectively reduce stress.
  • Forests Provide Environmental Services: City trees have a proven track record of cooling summer heat, cleaning the air, and improving water quality. The most significant cost of neighborhood trees is planting and ongoing maintenance, but preserving forest tracts minimizes these costs while maximizing benefits.
  • Support a Growing Economy: An urban forest enhances property values.
  • Offer Quality of Life for All: Preserving forests can help remedy unequal access to green space.
  • Foster Wildlife:  Urban forests are safe havens for sensitive plants and animals.
  • Meet City Goals:  Government-endorsed plans such as Thrive Indianapolis and the White River Vision Plan call for carbon mitigation, green infrastructure, and more. Preserving forests accomplishes these goals.

Right now, citizens and government have a window of opportunity to protect these valuable forests. IFA is calling on city leaders to come together to prioritize forest conservation. Explore IFA’s research and recommendations:

Explore more with the Forests for Indy Interactive Map below: 

Click on the map below to view all the forests in Indianapolis based on their overall benefit score.
Forests for Indy is Supported by these Donors and Partners:

Dr. Laura Hare Charitable Trust * Ann M. Stack * Grace & Sam Mulvey * The Conservation Fund * Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) *  Indianapolis Foundation via CICF * Peggy & Charlie Sutphin * Alice Schloss * Samerian Foundation * Nicholas H. Noyes, Jr. Memorial Foundation * Amos Butler Audubon Society * Westrock Foundation * 3M Foundation * Keep Indianapolis Beautiful * The Polis Center at IUPUI

Questions? Contact IFA Forests For Indy Director Mike Oles
Donate today to support Forests for Indy
Get involved! Take action!

Indiana’s forests need you! Be part of an active, engaged network of forest advocates from all over Indiana. What can you do? Join IFA! Volunteer! Or write to or call officials on behalf of Indiana’s forests.