Urban Forests

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. 

Call for Proposals: Partners in Community Forestry Conference 2014

The Partners in Community Forestry National Conference will be held November 5-6 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  This conference serves as the annual, national gathering for urban forestry professionals and advocates: examples of last year’s presentations can be found here.  The

Free trees in Cleburne, Texas

A tornado in Cleburne, Texas managed to wreak havoc, damaging and destroying 8.5 miles of homes, businesses and landscapes.  The loss of trees in the area has correlated with a decrease in shade, energy efficiency, and property values. To bring the community together and help it recover, H.E.B, the Texas Tree Foundation, ReTreet America, Texas A&M Forest Service, the City of Cleburne, and Cross Timbers Urban Forestry are providing free trees to homeowners in the affected area.

Alliance for Community Trees offers Community Groves℠ Grants

The Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees) launched Community Groves℠ Grants to “offer a new path to improve the health and livability of neighborhoods through planting, maintaining, and harvesting fruit and nut trees…at a time when over 90% of the U.S. population lives in urbanized areas…[with insufficient access] to fresh, healthful, and affordable food.”

Volunteers show urban forestry is important cities both big and small

In recognition of the great work being done by the Friends of the Seminary Hill Natural Area, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Community Forestry Council (WCFC) awarded its first Urban Forest Stewardship Award for 2014. The non-profit works with the City of Centralia in Southwest Washington state to maintain the natural area. 

Socializing under the trees in Baltimore, MD

New research demonstrates (yet again) the social benefits that spring from trees: findings suggest that more street trees in public areas positively correlate with social capital.  Researchers at the State University of New York linked social survey data from a tes