The National Round Table on Environment and Economy and the Evergreen Foundation have studied nature conservation. The report Ground Work: Investigating the Need for Nature in the City shows that the benefits of natural areas in urban settings include:
- enhancing environmental health
- providing habitat for native birds, butterflies and other insects
- increasing biodiversity
- eliminating the need for chemical pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides
- learning first-hand about the natural world and the ecological processes that support it
- strengthening community ties by fostering a sense of cooperation and instilling feelings of pride and stewardship.
- reduced infrastructure costs.
Studies of benefits from preserving forests in urban areas include the following benefits:
- Energy Conservation: due to shade and reduced air temperatures in summer, and wind blocking in winter
- Reduced Runoff: through rainfall interception, evapotranspiration and increased soil infiltration, which can reduce and delay peak flows, reduce the need for stormwater treatment facilities, and improve water quality
- Improved Water Quality: by reducing runoff and air pollution, and through the soils by filtering, assimilating, or degrading many chemicals in the water that flow through the forest. There is usually also a reduction of sediments, pesticides, metals, and other contaminants in forested areas
- Reduction in Volatile Organic Chlorine Emissions (VOCs): forest clearing for development increases total VOC emissions, thus conserving forests reduces VOC emissions