Urban and Community Forestry
Urban Forests in the News
Setting Trees Free in Public
More trees in a city bring surprising benefit, Portland study finds
You've heard all the obvious benefits of urban trees -- shading buildings, sheltering wildlife, filtering air pollution, stopping erosion. A new Portland study suggests a more surprising benefit: healthier newborns. Researchers used satellite images to compare tree cover around the houses of 5,696 women who gave birth in Portland in 2006 and 2007. Pregnant women living in houses graced by more trees were significantly less likely to deliver undersized babies.
City commission OKs special districts
The Helena City Commission created two new special improvement districts and passed a long-discussed Complete Streets Policy amid hours of public testimony at a crowded meeting Monday night. Both of the district proposals — dealing with landfill and tree maintenance — had drawn protest from about 14 percent of the property owners within the city after mail-in ballot cards were sent out a month ago. Several of the individuals who testified before the commission brought along their own copies of the green mailings to the podium, using them as a prop as they expressed their skepticism about increasing annual assessments.
Calculating the green in green
The ancient bond between humans and trees is expressed in a modern city dweller’s intuition that trees add value to an urban landscape. And so they do, but how much? Neighborhood and yard trees are not market commodities, so there is no simple, agreed-upon basis for calculating their value, comparing it to that of other urban-planning priorities such as keeping development costs low, or weighing benefits of trees against their costs.
Study's goal: Finding out how much Seattle's trees are worth
The study is being undertaken with the U.S. Forest Service, the University of Washington, Cascade Land Conservancy, King County and Seattle. It will ultimately estimate the trees' economic worth to the city: how much pollution they absorb, how much summer cooling they provide and how much storm water they absorb in winter, showing how much they might save in energy and drainage costs.
Public Learns About Trees
People from throughout the Pine Belt gathered in Laurel to learn about trees in the community. A Southeast Mississippi Community Forestry Workshop titled “Trees in Our Community” attracted many to the City Beautiful. The workshop, co-hosted by the City of Laurel and the Laurel Tree Board, was conducted at the Laurel Train Depot. Arborists and forestry experts with the Mississippi Urban Forest Council conducted five sessions and provided attendees _ ranging from gardeners, homeowners, business owners, developers, foresters, arborists, city workers and city leaders _ with information concerning trees and managing land.
RITree Council Appoints Green Team Members
The Rhode Island Tree Council recently added six Rhode Islanders to a team of green industry workers that will assist the organization in implementing its Forest Sustainability Project (FSP), a special program being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
Mapping the Urban Forest One Tree at a Time
How do we get a good picture of what trees are where, how they are contributing to the environment, and what problems they might be susceptible to in today's changing world? The main problem with recording this vital information is (to borrow a line) “tree people like planting trees, they don't like entering data.” So why not throw the task open to the local community? The Urban Forest Map is a one-stop repository using information contributed from any willing group or individual and aims to engage community participation to build a complete, dynamic picture of the urban forest. Anybody can add, edit or find a tree they know in San Francisco and the Urban Forest Map will use the information to quantify the environmental benefits the trees are providing.
Mayor Touts Fort Wayne's Urban Forest
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry celebrated Arbor Day on Friday by touting the city's commitment to trees. He joined students from St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth Catholic School in planting two trees at Buckner Park, located off Bass Road west of Interstate 69. He also said the “Tree Commission” he established last year should be supplanted by a “Tree Advisory Board” to become a standing monitor of urban-forestry practices that would report directly to him. “Our trees are one of Fort Wayne's remarkable assets,” said Henry. “They clean our air, keep us cool, dampen noise and beautify our world."
Yuma a "Tree City USA" for third time
In recognition of the community's commitment to urban forestry, Yuma has been named a Tree City USA for the third consecutive year by the Arbor Day Foundation. "We commend Yuma's elected officials, volunteers and its citizens for providing vital care for its urban forest," John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation, wrote in a letter to the mayor's office. He continued: "Trees provide numerous environmental, economical and health benefits to millions of people each day, and we applaud communities that make planting and caring for trees a top priority."
UA Fort Smith Campus Recognized
The dedication of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship has resulted in its designation as a 2009 Tree Campus USA University by the Arbor Day Foundation. UA Fort Smith is the first higher education institution in Arkansas to be named a Tree Campus USA University.
Friends of the Urban Forest Celebrates 1000th Planting
A non-profit that helps plant trees in cities is celebrating a milestone in San Francisco today as it participates in its 1,000th local planting. Friends of the Urban Forest will plant about 85 trees in the Western Addition neighborhood, according to the organization. Families and community members raised about $5,000 for the trees, and Kaiser Permanente provided additional funding. The organization has planted trees in San Francisco since 1981, and this weekend's planting will be Friends of the Urban Forests' 1000th event in the city.
Goleta's urban forest on horizon
The relatively new city of Goleta held a stakeholders meeting last week to kick off the planning for its own urban forest. Many cities, large and small, have a set of ordinances to protect their trees, and to ensure that when new ones are planted, the right trees go in the right places. Since Goleta was incorporated less than a decade ago, there has been an informal set of rules in place governing city trees, but the urban forest plan is intended to be more comprehensive.
Rehoboth Beach set to revise tree ordinance
Three years after its passing, Rehoboth Beach’s groundbreaking comprehensive tree ordinance is in the first stages of a revision. Four changes have been proposed to the ordinance, which regulates trees and tree plantings on public and private land: Clarifying and changing the role of the Parks and Shade Tree Commission; Updating the section on definitions; Updating the list of preferred and acceptable trees on private lands; Initiating a community forestry management plan. Commissioner Dennis Barbour, Bryan Hall of the State Office of Planning Coordination and the city’s building and licensing department worked on the revised draft ordinance.
Seattle's tree-cutting rules to get more strict; advocates hoped for more
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to require stricter tree-cutting regulations by May. The vote left details unsettled and tree advocates lukewarm, but the council hailed it as a first step. Monday's resolution asks the Department of Planning and Development to decide in the next 10 months whether to require permits for tree cutting. Currently, private-property owners can cut down a maximum of three trees a year without permits. The council also wants the department to consider tightening development rules to require people to preserve trees. The council also voted to establish an Urban Forestry Commission that includes scientists, a developer and tree advocates. "We are trying to draft policy where urban development and trees can live together," said Council President Richard Conlin.
These trees create your own urban forest
What do you think of when you hear the phrase 'Urban Forest'? To me, it sounds a lot better than a concrete jungle, a phrase that conjures up visions of towering office and apartment buildings. In recent years, the urban forest concept has developed largely to counter the concrete jungle, planting trees and shrubs in urban environments across America. Urban forests mean different things to different people. To some it might mean setting aside areas strictly for native plants that probably grew there before the advent of the city. To others it might mean creating greenways with more exotic plants. For yet other urban forest enthusiasts, it could mean planting street trees throughout an inner city community.
Ash borer puts budget spotlight on foresters
Financially strapped cities are scrambling to provide forestry services and respond to a new bug that is threatening to kill off trees... This year's discovery of emerald ash borer in St. Paul has communities around the Twin Cities scrambling to develop plans for identification and disposal of thousands of infected ash trees. City foresters say they're busier than ever. But demand for tree expertise is coming at the same time cities are cutting budgets.
SPEA brochure celebrates IU Bloomington's "woodland campus"
The woodland campus of Indiana University Bloomington has been celebrated for its natural beauty for more than a century. A new publication from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs will help students and visitors better understand what makes the campus special.
Nurturing the green economy
While "going green" has long been associated with protecting the environment, we believe it should also be associated with saving and earning money. Clean, sustainable and livable communities go hand-in-hand with economic growth. In these tough economic times, many American cities and towns are searching for innovative ways to go green, seeking to make investments that will ultimately save taxpayer dollars and increase local property values. These efforts come in many forms - revitalizing municipal parks and public spaces, landscaping neighborhood gateways and key corridors, planting trees, constructing green roofs, cleaning and maintaining vacant lots.
Brunswick tree canopy measured via study
Tree canopy cover in Brunswick is good compared to Frederick, and even when compared with the cities of Baltimore and Washington. It stands at 38 percent, according to a recent study by the University of Vermont. That means 38 percent of land area in Brunswick has shade provided by trees, known as urban tree canopy. But Brunswick officials would like it to be better. More trees means lower temperatures in the summer, lower energy costs, less pollution and better property values, according to the Chesapeake Bay Trust, which funded the Urban Tree Canopy analysis.
Urban forest program on Rehoboth agenda
An upcoming workshop is slated to include a presentation by the state Office of Planning and Coordination on developing a community urban forest program for the city."Trees are a big, big, big thing in Rehoboth Beach," said Mayor Sam Cooper. "We need an inventory, tree-by-tree on public land, so we can plan for the future of those trees and future trees. We want to be sure we put back as much as we take."
Boise green living: Boise's urban forest
Rows and rows of young trees grow at the Laura Moore Cunningham Arboretum in Boise, waiting to one day join the city's urban forest. It's a forest the city is committed to protecting, and one you can support too.
Friend of the Forest: Urban Forester to Study, Promote Trees
It may be known for its birds, its warm weather and even its food, but one thing McAllen, TX certainly isn't known for is its forests. Enter Mark Kroeze, McAllen's urban forester. The position is an unusual one, since lush, green forests aren't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when one pictures the city. But Kroeze says in his position, he tries to see the forest for the trees. "An urban forester thinks of individual trees," explained Kroeze, 25, who began working for the city last week.
Replacing Felled Trees: Big Push to Plant Trees Where Beetles Roamed
While the federal government is going to help replace many of the thousands of trees coming down to eradicate the Asian longhorned beetle in Worcester and four adjacent towns, a homegrown initiative with additional tree plantings over the next five years is being organized by community groups.
Thousands of trees help make Tampa Super Bowl a 'green' event
More than one thousand trees will take root in Tampa Bay on Thursday as part of the National Football League’s greening of Super Bowl XLIII. Dozens of volunteers and area youngsters will join staff from the NFL Environmental Program to plant trees at two different sites in the Bay area. Both projects are funded by grants from the US Forest Service administered by the State of Florida Division of Forestry.
Economic stimulus doesn't have to mean ecological disaster
It's true that the "New New Deal" offers a fantastic opportunity to rebuild for the future, but this opportunity also contains real dangers. If we don't make careful choices about what kind of infrastructure we build, we will be hardening in concrete the ecological mistakes of our past. Jump-starting old construction projects to create jobs would harm more than help us. We need to focus on 'smart green' infrastructure.
Asian Beetle Spells Death for Maples So Dear
WORCESTER, Mass. — People who live in this city’s Greendale neighborhood love the maples that shade their streets in summer and turn beautiful colors in fall. But most of the maples in Greendale are now painted with red dots, indicating that they will be chopped down as early as next month because of an infestation of Asian long-horned beetles that is plaguing thousands of Worcester’s trees.
Oregon's rural-urban divide has give and take
According to a Portland economist, Oregon's rural-urban divide is more than a perception perpetrated by rural Oregonians frustrated with their inability to influence policy and politics in Salem. It's quantifiable. Rural Oregon, according to Joe Cortright, depends on Portland to fund its schools, health care and social services. In a presentation at a rural-urban conference in Salem last week, Cortright said the state's general fund, which helps pay for schools, health care and social services, derives a disproportionate amount of its revenue from the Portland metropolitan area. "The recipients of these funds are disproportionately located outside metropolitan Portland," Cortright said. About $550 million annually, he said, moves from Portland to pay for education and health care in the remainder of the state. The report from Cortright was part of the Toward One Oregon conference Nov. 14 at the Salem Conference Center. The event highlighted the interdependence of rural and urban Oregon. Oregon State University President Ed Ray in his opening remarks said rural and urban Oregon are intertwined culturally, socially and economically.
Volunteers plant 1,500 trees at Rachel Carson Middle School
On Friday, Nov. 7, nearly 50 volunteers from printing company RISO and Level 3 Communications partnered with school staff, Fairfax ReLeaf staff and the Virginia Department of Forestry to plant 1,500 trees on four acres of land at Rachel Carson Middle School. RISO launched a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation earlier this year to help plant 100,000 trees across the nation.
NFL favors proven strategies for Super Bowl
Now in its 16th year of working to make its biggest event an environmental windfall, the NFL for this season’s title game in Tampa is building on what’s already become a vast environmental program. Among the expectations are wider participation from local organizations, more trees being planted and more cooked food being eaten. Renewable energy will be tapped for game-day usage, and it also will play a role in powering the many complementary events that stretch over the two-week span leading up to the game. In addition, for the first time, the league this year is putting into play a way to measure the ROI of a tree.
What will happen to the trees?
City trees: They're your problem now. Or they will be, if the City Council agrees with budget-whackers who proposed last week to turn Stockton's urban forest almost entirely over to property owners. The city - largely, though not entirely - would get out of caring for its 120,000 trees and turn that job over to the public. Lock, stock and mistletoe. The council may have to adopt this proposal. The budget hole is $23.5 million. But what would private control mean to Stockton's urban forest?
County Treeline Set to Shrink
Like many homeowners, Stan Gladbach enjoys the towering trees that populate his property. That’s what makes it so tough to see them die... “Property owners did not bring this burden upon themselves. Let me tell you, I didn’t want this. I didn’t want these bugs,” Gladbach said. “I like to shade the house. I like to shade the area.”The threat of the emerald ash borer is one reason McHenry County’s treeline is set to shrink. Residents likely will need to use more sunscreen on future summer days as fewer towering trees will be available to provide shade, local tree experts said... Aside from the emerald ash borer, other invasive pests, including gypsy moths, bagworms and Japanese beetles, also are stressing area trees, said Steve Ludwig, parks and forestry superintendent for Algonquin.
TreeVitalize to Plant 1 Million Trees Statewide
Building on the success of TreeVitalize in southeastern Pennsylvania, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is launching a statewide tree planting program in metropolitan areas, with a goal of planting one million trees over the next five years. "Trees make us feel great, improve the quality of life in communities and increase property values, but they are disappearing in metropolitan areas across the state, and we want to reverse this alarming trend," said DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis at a tree planting event in Allentown. "We can all learn so much by planting a tree: how we need to take care of the things that make our world better; how a small action can make a big difference; and how important living things are to many other elements of our communities.
Trees provide $85.5 million in essential services
What is the value of a community's trees — in monetary, not philosophical, terms? That was the question facing researchers at Grand Valley State University's Annis Water Resources Institute, who assessed the value of ecological services provided by Muskegon's urban forest canopy. Their conclusion: Muskegon's trees provide $88.5 million in ecological services annually by absorbing air pollutants and large quantities of rainfall, which otherwise would cause more frequent flooding.
Former dean charged with heading botanical garden
Marla McIntosh wants to beautify the campus and help students create fonder collegiate memories. And after being officially announced as the interim director of the university's Arboretum and Botanical Garden yesterday, she may be able to do just that. In her two-year position, McIntosh will oversee the trees on the campus and integrate their beauty into the campus's landscape. After taking the job earlier this semester, McIntosh - a professor and former associate dean for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources - said she plans to enhance students' college experience through improving and maintaining the campus's trees..."We are an urban forest," she said. "Urban forestry is about people living within the trees and landscape. We have to be an urban forest. As a campus community, this is part of us."
State approves reporting methods for emissions from urban forests, local governments
California's air agency adopted standards yesterday for measuring voluntary CO2 reductions from local government operations, urban forests and manure digester projects as part of a goal to slash statewide emissions 30 percent by 2020. The reporting protocols, developed with environmental groups, businesses and local and federal agencies, will lay out common standards and methods of calculating greenhouse gas emissions."Today's board adoption marks yet another important step forward in California's goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2020," said state Air Resources Board (ARB) acting chairwoman Barbara Riordan.
Brainard to attend Forest Council Conference
On October 8th, 2008 the Indiana Urban Forest Council (IUFC) will hold its 18th annual Fall Conference: The Urban Forest Ecosystem Leaves it to Trees. A wide array or resource professionals from Indiana and across the nation will convene in Carmel to share information about the vital role trees play to Indiana communities with regard to such topics as clean water, clean air, and local economy. Opening the conference will be Mayor James Brainard of Carmel, who will share strategies that Carmel has implemented to make trees a working and valuable asset to the City of Carmel, which has resulted in community-wide buy in as well as the capture of two national awards.
Tree teams work to save South's storm-hit canopies
Hurricanes that whip the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Southern states take a human toll, but they also claim another victim on an enormous scale -- the majestic trees, many draped in Spanish moss, that form canopies over historic streets across the region. Botanists call the oaks, cypress, magnolias and other trees that flourish in the hot, moist South the"bones of any landscape" and say visitors and residents alike cherish their look. In the wake of Katrina, which brought down 1,800 trees in Mobile alone in 2005, foresters across the South decided to do something about the threat. They formed "urban forest strike teams" in most Southern states to help communities evaluate and save damaged trees after a storm. They also provide guidance on what kind of trees to plant and how to prune them to reduce wind damage.
Weathering Future Storms Conference Strengthens Gulf Coast Community Forestry
Auburn University hosted Weathering Future Storms: Steps to a Storm-Resilient Community Forest September 8-10, 2008, in Mobile, Alabama. The conference, funded by the US forest Service, focused on the role of community forestry projects in storm recovery along the Gulf Coast in the past four years, mostly in the aftermath of hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. Discussion topics included visual tree analysis, addressing root and soil failure, designing resilient urban forests before a storm, and completing rapid assessments of damage afterward. On Monday, September 8, Dr. Gaines Smith, Director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, and Mr. Steve Marshall, Acting Director of the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry office, were among the speakers at the conference’s kick-off media event.
Steve Marshall expressed his appreciation for the work of Auburn and the Alabama Forestry Commission in advancing storm response and preparedness in the Gulf Coast region. Auburn University was awarded 1.9 million dollars from the Forest Service to assist Alabama communities in recovering their urban forestry resources. In addition to funding the conference, the grants were used to plant 10,000 trees, assess 7,807 trees, and prune 3,898 trees to correct damage. Auburn University also educated over 1,000 participants on topics such as Hurricane-Proofing your Urban Forest, Assessing and Restoring Urban Forests, Restoring our Hurricane-Ravaged Urban Forest Canopy, and Planting and Maintaining Urban Trees.
September 11, 2008
Become a volunteer urban forester
Pam Holy and George Davis headed out of the little slice of butterfly heaven that is the Burnham Nature Sanctuary, Davis holding a pruner and Holy lugging industrial-grade limb loppers in a bucket. Along the trail behind them was evidence of the morning's accomplishments: Piles of brush made up of invasive buckthorn that had just been removed by Holy and Davis, the site's stewards, and a band of hardworking volunteers from Chicago Cares. Workdays like this have helped turn this patch of land at 47th Street and Lake Shore Drive into a rich trove of nature. The prairie grasses are more than head-high, and the sunflowers tower over them. Birds swoop in and out, butterflies flitter and you can't take a step without seeing grasshoppers, bees and high-flying dragonflies.
Binghamton receives Urban Forestry grant
Mayor Matt Ryan Wednesday announced that the City of Binghamton has received a $20,000 grant from the New York State Forestry Management and Streetscape Implementation Program, which is administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The grant is among the largest statewide and will allow the City to develop a Forestry Management Plan and increase its annual tree plantings by more than 50 percent.
SoMa tree fight makes its way to City Hall
The latest skirmish in San Francisco's tree wars took place Aug. 25 in a City Hall hearing room. Department of Public Works hearing officer Frank Felice presided over a clash between developers who want to remove 22 mature southern magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) from Harrison and Third streets and neighbors who want the trees preserved. The hearing featured an interesting attempt at greenwashing by the developers.... Arborist and Urban Forestry Council member Jocelyn Cohen chastised developers who "come into the community with their own agenda and decide to clear-cut the urban forest." She said the proposed replacements would take years to establish and half might not survive: "An established forest gives the most environmental and social value."
One, two trees: Urban forest counters often mistaken for tree removers
They're actually doing the opposite. Traveling around in a bulbous electric vehicle, the men are inventorying and evaluating all of Chico's street trees so that the leafy assets can live longer and in better shape. Working separately, the two men make their way up and down city streets, through residential and commercial pockets alike, looking at each tree the city owns. On Thursday, they were working on and off The Esplanade, in the Sixth Avenue area. They have been mistaken by the public for a team marking trees destined to be cut. Strangely, the public reaction has either been outrage or glee. "Yes, some people want those street trees taken out," says Chico urban forester Denice Britton. "Some people don't like them." Britton is supervising the pair, whose paychecks are coming from a California Department of Forestry grant of $55,000 to update Chico's urban forest information.
Morton Arboretum furniture display shows that beauty can rise from ash borer destruction
With almost every new discovery of the emerald ash borer comes a swift funeral: infected ash trees are felled, tossed in a wood chipper and used for mulch. But even as the metallic green beetle has broken tree lovers' hearts, its victims are being reused in everything from Little League baseball bats to renewable energy. In the latest example, the Morton Arboretum in Lisle will present an exhibition this weekend featuring furniture made from infected ash trees across the Chicago area. The show, "Rising from Ashes," is part of a broader effort to bring attention to making better use of the urban forest. If urban timber could be reused instead of turned into mulch, it could satisfy about 30 percent of the country's hardwood needs, according to Stephen Bratkovich, a forest products specialist with the USDA Forest Service.
YWCA volunteer feels rush of the urban forest
For nearly two years, Hett has been documenting the rich diversity of trees, ferns, vines and everything else green in the nearly 9-acre patch of forest and wetlands behind Wilmington’s YWCA complex on South College Road. So far, she’s found nearly 70 species in the small slice of urban forest, including seven species of oaks and five varieties of ferns. But Hett said she still gets a rush every time she comes across something new.
TREE Fund 2008 Tour des Trees
More than 50 cyclists planted trees along a 500-mile route through Indiana, Illinois and Missouri in the 2008 Tree Research & Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) Tour des Trees. They rode with two missions: to raise money for research and scholarships in the field of tree care and to help the public understand the importance of proper tree care to maintain the health of our community forests and urban trees.
Pondering new tree preservation policies
The neighbors call it Berrywood Little Forest, an 11-acre oasis in the shadow of Columbia Regional Hospital and a few hundred yards from Interstate 70... “It’s not our property; the fact is that it's going to be developed,” neighbor Scott Wright said. “Most people were thrilled to get a developer who would work with us to save a portion of it.” ... In the coming months, the city council will discuss modifications of current land-use ordinances. The council will get a report from the Columbia Public Works Department, which is looking into conservation easements, interlocking green space and other land-use policies.
NY DEC Announces $900,000 in Urban Forestry Grants
Urban forestry grants totaling $900,000 are being awarded to communities and organizations across New York, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today. The release of the list of awardees coincides with the annual New York State Urban and Community Forestry Conference taking place today at Cornell University in Ithaca.
16 honored for tree preservation
Respect for trees and their vital role in post-Katrina recovery was highlighted Wednesday night when the Mississippi Urban Forest Council honored 16 South Mississippi individuals, organizations and companies. The awards were presented in Hattiesburg during the Mississippi Green Infrastructure and Urban Forest Conference.
The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) Hosts Public Forum on A Comprehensive Look at Tropical Forestry
The National Urban & Community Forestry
Advisory Council (NUCFAC) hosted a groundbreaking public forum in Puerto Rico on June 18, 2008 at the
Scrap Wood Gets New Life in the S.B. Foothills
Every year, literally hundreds of trees are cut down in Santa Barbara—their limbs, trunks, and branches meeting a cruel and ominous fate with a wood chipper. This march toward garden and driveway filler continues even as area contractors and builders place orders at spots like Home Depot and Channel City Lumber for wood that is, more often than not, grown at large-scale tree farms several hundreds of miles from the South Coast. With soaring gas prices, a plummeting economy, and a global climate that is, to paraphrase TK, “feeling a little bit under the weather,” this cost-heavy and decidedly carbon-taxing decision, especially when it comes to hard woods, is becoming a less than desirable option...
Oak Cliff group plants trees in Polk Street neighborhood, looks to do more
Community volunteers are rolling up their sleeves and investing a little sweat equity to beautify Oak Cliff. And they're hoping to entice neighbors and business owners to get involved. "This is our neighborhood, and we are responsible for it," said Lenora Casmore, a Glen Oaks neighborhood resident and a member of the Polk Street Beautification Project...
Where the Wild Things Are
We humans are choosy about the company we keep, particularly when it comes to animals. Dogs and cats and guppies and gerbils can share our space, but the rest of the Animal Kingdom belongs Out There, in Nature. Nature, however, has a habit of jumping fences... Baltimore has become a laboratory for a cadre of researchers who are trying to make sense of the “urban ecosystem.”... Researcher Mary Cadenasso and others have championed a new way of thinking about terrestrial ecosystems—one that takes into account the complex hodgepodge of habitat and human development that spatters a growing share of the landscape. They call the new approach “patch dynamics,” and it’s a perfect fit for ecological studies in cities, with their ever-evolving landscapes of houses and parks, development and decay...
Chattanooga Checks Out First Hybrid Wood Chipper Truck
The effort to make Chattanooga a green city could be getting a push in the right direction according to Environmentalists. Wednesday the city got a sneak peek at one of the newest hybrids on the road. It's called a hybrid diesel electric truck and some city leaders say adding it with some pumped up features to their fleet would be exactly what they need to reach the goals this future green city has set for itself...
Local urban forestry talk set for tonight
On Wednesday, June 25 at 7 p.m., the Woodland Tree Foundation and the City of Woodland are hosting a community forum on the benefits and costs of urban forestry tonight at 7 in the Community and Senior Center, 2001 East St. Dr. Greg McPherson, Ph.D., Research Forester and Director of the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station's Center for Urban Forestry Research, will lead the forum, which will conclude with questions from participants. McPherson is located on the UC Davis campus, in the School of Environmental Horticulture where he is currently leading a team of researchers on the project, Sustainable Urban Forest Ecosystems. The teams' work is to measure and model urban forest benefits and costs, with a particular emphasis on energy, carbon and water. According to McPherson, "no longer can the urban forest be thought of as merely an aesthetic 'frill' whose maintenance is optional. Trees create a walkable, cool environment; a distinct sense of place that improves property values; opportunities to intercept and slow rainfall run-off; sequester carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas; and provide animal habitat."
City, Local Church To Receive Environmental Grants
The Shenandoah Resource Conservation and Development Council has announced the recipients of its urban and community forestry mini-grants. Harrisonburg and the Harrisonburg Mennonite Church both received grants, as did Winchester and the town of Woodstock. "We wanted to increase commitment to investing in and taking care of our urban forest resources," said Joan Comanor, chairwoman of the Council's Forestry Committee, which awarded the grants. "As cities develop, sometimes we don't pay enough attention to ensuring we have attractive green spaces."
UW study reaffirms nature's stress relieving powers
In a study that reaffirms the restorative powers of nature, researchers at the University of Washington report that for stress relief, looking outside trumps toiling away in a windowless room or viewing a digital version of that outdoor scene. UW researchers found that plasma screens displaying an outdoor scene were about as effective as a blank wall in reducing test subjects' tension, as measured by a drop in heart rates...
Roseville is branching out all over
During this past fall and winter, the city set about the impressive feat of planting more than 7,000 native oak trees throughout our parks and open space. The goal was not only enhance and grow Roseville’s urban forest, but to also provide additional recreation and aesthetic value for residents. More than 100 volunteers, together with the Roseville Urban Forest Foundation, planted a mixture of acorns and oak seedling at several park and open space sites...
Dallas’ Urban Forest Advisory Committee unveils 2008 Citizen Forester Program
With spring’s arrival and the commencement of growing season, Dallas’ Urban Forest Advisory Committee (UFAC) is announcing its upcoming Citizen Forester Program for area residents interested in trees. The program, in its second year, trains citizen volunteers on how to care for and preserve the city’s trees and urban forests...
DEC Awarded Federal Forestry Grant
Lands in environmental justice communities and urban centers surrounding the Hudson River Estuary and New York/New Jersey Harbor will be used to test new models for reducing combined sewer overflows with urban trees and green infrastructure. The project will be funded by a $362,000 federal grant secured by DEC and partner groups. Green infrastructure is especially crucial to minority and low-income communities in urban areas where harms and risks result from a higher density of contaminated sites, air and water pollution, noise, and lack of green open space and waterfront access...
The Greening of America
Spurred by visions of their cities frying in a warmer world, mayors around the nation have grasped a green solution: trees! Like Johnny Appleseed, they have vowed to sow their seeds in great profusion, promising millions of new trees in the coming years. Arbor Day, that old fusty holiday, is getting a makeover...
Rep. Doris Matsui Introduces the Energy Conservation Through Trees Act
Today, Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-05) introduced the Energy Conservation Through Trees Act of 2008 to help lower utility bills and improve air quality. By promoting the strategic planting of trees, the amount of energy needed to heat and cool homes will be reduced. Patterned after the successful model established by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the Energy Conservation Through Trees Act seeks to save Americans dramatic amounts of money on their utility bills and reduce outside temperatures in urban areas. The program conducted by SMUD has been proven to lower energy bills, make local power utilities more cost-effective, and reduce air pollution...
Seattle to expand urban forest
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) plans to plant more than 800 trees this year as part of a continuing effort to expand the city’s urban forest. The city hopes to plant 60,000 street trees by 2037 to help combat global warming. A medium size deciduous tree — one that sheds its leaves in the winter — will absorb about 1.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide over its lifetime, according to the SDOT Web site...
For Urban Tree Planters, Concrete Is the Easy Part
“It’s not unusual for people to say they don’t want it,” said Mr. Simpson, the “it” referring to whatever tree the city has resolved to plant in a swatch of sidewalk or other public space. Mr. Simpson is privy to some of those objections because he works for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, one of 40 or so foresters helping to execute Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s million-tree initiative, a plan the mayor announced (one year ago this week) to blitz the city’s five boroughs with a million trees by the year 2017...
Free trees available to some residents
A $13,500 state urban forestry grant will enable the city of Great Falls, MT to plant about 250 new street trees in the city boulevard district, city forester Jon Thompson said Friday. Thompson said the new trees will be paid for through the state's Urban and Community Forest Program in the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation...
At a Pair of Gigantic Apartment Complexes, a Planting Project to Match
Ten thousand more trees will soon be growing in Manhattan. Give or take one or two. Their roots will settle in the grounds of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, the sprawling complexes that stretch for almost 10 blocks northeast of 14th Street near the East River, in one of the largest landscaping overhauls in Manhattan’s history. “When this project is complete,” said Erik Pauzé, the lead gardener, “we will have landscaped 60 of the 80 acres that make up these two properties.”
NY DEC Accepting Applications for Urban Forestry Projects
Applications are now being accepted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for approximately $900,000 to support urban forestry projects across the state. DEC is seeking proposals for Urban and Community Forestry projects that will enhance New York's urban landscapes with healthy trees and provide environmental, health, and economic benefits. The grant application deadline is the close of business on June 4, 2008...
Environmentalists push $1 million program to save urban trees
In Seattle, about 25 percent of city tree canopy vanished over the past 30 years. The Evergreen Cities campaign could be the first effort to try to "retree" an entire state. "The urban forest is the forest where we live," explained Griffith, manager of the Department of Natural Resources' Urban Forestry Program...
US Forest Service