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Communities

Agroforestry can help connect urban and suburban communities to the surrounding rural landscape. This connectivity helps filter storm water runoff, provides travel corridors for wildlife, creates recreational space, and improves air and water quality for the whole watershed. Cumulatively, these functions contribute to the overall health and sustainability of a community and its neighbors.

Adapting Designs and Methods to Benefit Communities

Community graphic.
Agroforestry provides perennial trees, shrubs, and grasses on the landscape. These serve both rural and urban communities by protecting air and water quality and providing green space for people and wildlife. (USDA National Agroforestry Center illustration)

The designs and methods used to plan and manage agroforestry systems can be adapted and applied to a wide range of community contexts. For example, agroforestry practices can add benefits to tree planting efforts, including food production, climate change adaptation and mitigation, water quality improvements, and sound, odor, and dust control. When planning agroforestry systems in communities, consideration must be given to sources of runoff, hydrologic flow paths and uptake of water and nutrients by trees, shrubs and grasses. Buffers can be designed to both reduce storm water volume and improve water quality for the over all watershed.

This integrated approach to land management can enhance the benefits of green infrastructure. The increasing popularity of urban agriculture and food forests provides new opportunities to incorporate trees and perennial plants into our communities and landscapes. This can happen at a variety of scales, ranging from the design of green infrastructure on a street to larger landscapes, such as a park or greenway. Agroforestry practices have particular relevance to the rural-urban interface, where they can provide significant environmental benefits while allowing the land to remain economically and socially productive.

Information Sheets

  • Infosheet

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    How Can Agroforestry Practices And Approaches Support Green Infrastructure?

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Brochures

Inside Agroforestry

  • Inside Agroforestry

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    Locally Sourced

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  • Inside Agroforestry

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    Beyond The Fence Line

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  • Inside Agroforestry

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    Diamonds In The Rough

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  • Inside Agroforestry

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    Green Infrastructure: Reconnecting Agriculture And Communitites

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  • Inside Agroforestry

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    Summer 1997

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Agroforestry Notes

  • Agroforestry Note

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    Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge In Agroforestry

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  • Agroforestry Note

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    "+H": The Human Considerations In The Adoption Of Agroforestry

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  • Agroforestry Note

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    Using Agroforestry To Buffer Noise

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  • Agroforestry Note

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    Windbreaks: A "fresh"� Tool To Mitigate Odors From Livestock Production Facilities

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  • Agroforestry Note

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    Conducting Landscape Assessments For Agroforestry

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  • Agroforestry Note

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    Indicators And Guidelines For Landscape Assessment And Planning For Agroforestry

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  • Agroforestry Note

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    Landscape Planning For Environmental Benefits

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  • Agroforestry Note

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    Wastewater Management Using Hybrid Poplar

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Research

  • Research

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    Science For Action At The Local Landscape Scale

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  • Research

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    Enhancing Ecosystem Services: Designing For Multifunctionality

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  • Research

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    Riparian Forest Buffers: Building A Sustainable Bioenergy Future

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  • Research

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    Creatively Communicating Conservation Complexity

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  • Research

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    Managing Agricultural Landscapes For Environmental Quality: Strengthening The Science Base

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  • Research

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    Developing And Extending Sustainable Agriculture: A New Social Contract

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  • Research

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    An Approach For Using Soil Surverys To Guide The Placement Of Water Quality Buffers

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  • Research

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    Tool Time: Melding Watershed And Site Goals On Private Lands

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  • Research

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    Visualizing Food And Farm

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  • Research

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    Picture This

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  • Research

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    Computer-based Tools For Decision Support In Agroforestry: Current State And Future Needs

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  • Research

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    The Fourth P: Planning For Multi-purpose Riparian Buffers

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  • Research

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    Agroforestry And GIS: Achieving Land Productivity And Environmental Protection

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  • Research

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    Integration Of Woody Buffers At Three Levels Of Spatial Scale In The Urban/rural Interface In Lincoln - Lancaster County, Nebraska

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  • Research

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    Ecobelts: Reconnecting Agriculture And Communities - Case Studies

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  • Research

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    Ecobelts: Reconnecting Agriculture And Communities

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  • Research

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    Evaluation Of A Collaborative Model: A Case Study Analysis Of Watershed Planning In The Intermountain West

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  • Research

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    Landscape Scale Planning For Conservation Buffers In The Corn Belt

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  • Research

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    Planning For Multi-purpose Riparian Management

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  • Research

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    Perspective: Agroforestry And Sustainability: Making A Patchwork Quilt

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More Publications

  • More Publications

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    Edible Woody Landscapes

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  • More Publications

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    Green Infrastructure: Designing With Nature

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  • More Publications

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    Topeka - Sustainable Development: Moving Toward A Greener Community

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  • More Publications

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    Topeka: Urban/Rural Watershed Solutions

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  • More Publications

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    Living Snow Fences

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  • More Publications

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    Windbreaks For Rural Living

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/nac/topics/communities.php