Forest Action Plans: Guidelines for Forests

Forest action plans provide an analysis of forest conditions and trends in your area.

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Urban Forests

Tree City, Ohio

For the 33rd consecutive year, Ohio leads the nation for Tree City USA designations with 244 communities achieving the title this year. The program, which is sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters, the Arbor Day Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S.

Chicago’s trees estimated compensatory value at $51.2 billion

Chicago is estimated to have about 157,142,000 trees, with a tree and shrub canopy that covers 2% of the region.  These trees remove about 677,000 tons of carbon per year and 18,080 tons of air pollution per year.  Including reduced costs in residential energy and a few other factors, these trees are estimated to have a compensatory value of $51.2 billion.

Nebraska native creates her own arboretum

Wanda Kelly’s yard is something special – the Nebraskan native has filled her yard in rural Thurston with hundreds of different trees.  Known as the “Tree Lady,” this home-made arboretum covers four acres, and she’s constantly adding

2014 TD Green Streets grant recipients announced

On March 7th, TD Bank and the Arbor Day Foundation announced the winners of TD Green Streets, a grant program supporting innovation in urban forestry.  Each $20,000 grant will fund projects in underserved communities, including the purchase of trees, tree planting, maintenance costs and educational activities.

Research suggests link between trees and lower crime rates

A new study in Baltimore City and Baltimore County have found that with a few exceptions, the frequency of crimes reported in a particular area goes down as the tree cover gets thicker.  Just a 10 percent increase in leaf canopy was associated with a 12 percent drop in crime.  The study supports arguments by advocates that environmental factors can fight crime, and challenges the notion that thick vegetation gives cover to would-be criminals.

Park planned for abandoned railway to serve as “urban oasis”

A 3-mile long stretch of abandoned elevated railway on Chicago’s northwest side is undergoing a rapid transformation into a park called the 606, after the local area code.  Like the High Line in Manhattan’s West Side, the park will serve as an urban trail, creating a large (but narrow) green space for the community.

Chemicals found in urban soils may contaminate gardens

Urban gardening can be a great way to gain access to fresh food and time outdoors, and our urban forests massively benefit our communities, but gardeners should be wary of potential toxic metals and chemicals in the soil.

Community tree mortality linked to life-threatening illnesses

The emerald ash borer is a forester’s nightmare: the much detested insect was first detected in 2002 and has since felled over 100 million ash trees.  Aside from the obvious damage and injuries caused by falling trees, the barren streets and parks have been linked to a more long-term problem: higher rates of death from cardiovascular and respiratory tract illnesses. 

Kids get moving with help from school gardens

Besides providing fresh produce, schools with gardens are helping kids stay healthy in other ways: a two-year Cornell study of 12 elementary schools in New York

“Green Infrastructure” survey needs responses

Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, the National Association of Regional Councils, and partner organizations such as Arbor Day Foundation are working on a project designed to create tools that regional councils can use to promote growing urban forestry programs among their member municipalities.  By taking this survey, which should take less than 20 minutes, you will help create a sketch of the current landscape for green infrastructure and urban forestry. 


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