Health Equity Zones

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Health equity zone initiative

Natural Environment Data

Trees promote health in many ways. They help clean the air, promote outdoor physical activity, improve quality of life, and protect the environment.


To assess Rhode Island's progress towards advancing health equity, as part of Rhode Island Health Equity Measures.

Key Information

Measure Tree Equity Score
Data Source American Forests (data will be updated every 2 years)
Strata Census Block Group and Municipality (only the urbanized areas as defined by the US Census Bureau)
What this measure means

The Tree Equity Score was developed by American Forests in 2020. It is a science-based approach to determine the tree canopy cover needed in a neighborhood to ensure the people living in urban areas benefit from everything trees provide. The score is based on: 

  • Existing tree canopy cover
  • Population density
  • Income
  • Employment
  • Race
  • Age
  • Surface Temperature

Scores are calculated at the Census Block Group and Municipal level and normalized to generate a score between 0-100. The lower the score, the higher the need for tree interventions. For more on the Tree Equity Score methodology visit

Key Findings

  • Pawtucket, Central Falls, and Providence have the lowest percentage of tree canopy cover, each with less than 18% of landmass with tree canopy cover.
  • West Greenwich, Exeter, and Foster have the highest percentage of tree canopy cover, each with more than 84% of landmass with tree canopy cover.
RI Tree Canopy by municipality