John Radford, the chief executive officer for the Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership, spoke at the Museum of Idaho about the importance of urban trees on Thursday.

The EICAP helps communities and individuals become self-sufficient.

Radford talked about urban trees and how they help the Idaho Falls community protect the environment. He is not an arborist but has studied the benefits of growing more trees in the community.

A green iguana climbs a log at the Museum of Idaho.

A green iguana climbs a log at the Museum of Idaho. Photo credit: Rosemary Jones

“I am a policy wonk that just wants to pay attention to things that are of value,” said Radford.

Radford grew up in Idaho Falls. Currently, he is a professor at BYU-Idaho in the political science department and has served on the Idaho Falls City Council since 2015.

Trees grow in a row near the Museum of Idaho.

Trees grow in a row near the Museum of Idaho. Photo credit: Rosemary Jones

Radford talks about how trees benefit the community by collecting more water, providing more canopies and capturing carbon and pollutants.

Kim Lee, the director of development at the Museum of Idaho, asked Radford to speak on Thursday.

“I knew it fit really well with our ‘Under the Canopy Exhibit’,” Lee said.

The exhibit at the museum houses a sloth, an iguana, snakes, turtles, frogs and more animals found in rainforests. The display helps teach about biodiversity and maintaining the ecology of the rainforest. It also explains how crucial the trees are.