Today more than 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas. It’s therefore fortunate we now understand many of the physical and psychological benefits healthy trees provide urbanites: Our parks and trees are more than aesthetically pleasing areas that help address pollution problems.
Children are spending more time than ever indoors and on electronic devices, including laptops, cell phones and electronic games.
In the last 10 years or more, the medical field has found these sorts of habits and stresses are unhealthy and can affect the immune system.
California, as part of its greenhouse gas reduction initiative, has taken the unprecedented move of allocating a large pot of urban forestry money exclusively to disadvantaged communities plagued by pollution. Advocates for Urban Releaf, an Oakland-based urban forestry company, has applied for the forestry dollars as part of an ongoing statewide grant process. They are hopeful that the new program will go a long way toward adding greenery to historically neglected Oakland neighborhoods.
Brian Stone Jr. knows the urban heat island phenomenon well. Stone is one of the country’s foremost experts in urban heat; he has made a career of literally taking the temperature of communities. “Cities essentially create their own climates,” he says. “And the urban heat island effect is one way to measure that. There’s a heat island effect, really, in every large city.”
But in few places is it felt more than in Louisville, sometimes to deadly effect.
“Urban forestry,” the care and management of trees to improve the urban environment, is becoming better known and more appreciated. However, the fact remains that most people don’t stop often to think about the many benefits trees in urban settings provide both people and communities. There’s still work to be done.
Blog submitted by Daisy Masela Talatau, Urban & Community Forestry Program Coordinator. Talatau works for the Forestry Division at American Samoa Community College's Land Grant Community and Natural Resources.
Deep in the woods at Alley Pond Park in Queens is a laboratory that looks like something out of a weather fanatic’s wild imagination.
Attached to a lofty oak are a webcam and a wind vane, humidity and temperature sensors, rain gauges and instruments to measure solar radiation. The high-tech tools, which transmit information in real time, are part of the USDA Forest Service’s new “smart forest” initiative, in which data is collected from selected woodlands to help scientists manage landscapes in a changing climate.
The Service Mark for the National Association of State Foresters has been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as of April 11, 2000. The Service Mark and the name ‘National Association of State Foresters’ are registered at Reg. No. 2,340,477. Reproduction or use of the NASF logo without permission is prohibited. Photographs for the site came from many different sources. This institution is an equal-opportunity employer. This website is made possible through a grant from the USDA Forest Service.