Urban Forestry

Photo of Nicholas School students at a tree planting event in Durham
Photo of Nicholas School students at a tree planting event in Durham


In 2013, DCOI began developing partnerships to plant trees in our immediate community of Durham, NC. Soon after, DCOI expanded its scope to plant trees throughout the state, and in 2015 opened the door for other institutions to follow suit by creating an Urban Forestry Protocol for carbon offset generation. The protocol is designed for use by institutions interested in tree planting projects and simplifies documentation requirements to better fit the scale of these projects. It was accepted by the Offset Network as a Peer Verified Protocol in June 2020. 

Check out these photos from our most recent planting with Keep Durham Beautiful and the City of Durham, February 2020!

Tree planting Durham


  • DCOI has pioneered 7 urban forestry pilot projects throughout North Carolina, Arizona, and New York.
  • Partnered with Arizona State University, Elon University, Davidson College, Pace University, and Green Mountain College.
  • The Urban Forestry Protocol will result in over 6,400 trees planted by the end of 2017.
  • DCOI has written recommendations for how to quantify on-campus trees and forests to ensure additionality.
  • Partnered with Delta to plant over 1,000 tree in the Raleigh-Durham area.
Photo of DCOI's tree planting locations
In 2016 and 2017, the DCOI has 6 tree planting projects with the majority being in North Carolina.


Project Co-Benefits

Educational: Tree planting events provide volunteer opportunities for community members to learn the benefits of urban forests, and assist in the development of curricula about the life and measurement of trees.

Social: Create a safer walking environment by providing a barrier between cars and sidewalks. Provide mental and physical health benefits to nearby residents. Increase property values and improve business traffic by encouraging people to walk on the sidewalk.

Environmental: Remove harmful pollutants from car exhaust, reduce storm water runoff, provide shade to buildings to reduce energy consumption, and provide biological habitat.

Scalable: By developing an offset protocol and pioneering novel solutions to solve the needs of institutions striving to achieve carbon neutrality our work enables other schools to plant urban trees and have a climate impact.

Project Partners: Keep Durham Beautiful, Trees Across Durham, and the City and County of Durham.


Urban Forestry Protocol (DCOI)

Urban Forestry Program Guide