The Mental Benefits Provided by Urban Forests

by American Forests
Kids climbing tree

By Conrad Kabbaz, Policy Intern

We all feel better after a walk in the park, but can trees really be key to our mental well-being? According to recent studies featured in the New York Times and The New Yorker, they might, improving our physical health as well.

Promising Results

This possibility piqued the interest of Gregory Bratman, a Stanford graduate student.  A study he conducted showed improved happiness and attentiveness after participants walked through a green portion of the university campus. Subjects were compared to another group who walked the same distance near heavy traf... (Read More)

Forest Digest – Week of August 17, 2015

by American Forests
Grand Circus Park

Get some perspective on what’s happening with our forests with this week’s Forest Digest.

Prisoners Who Fight Wildfires in California: An Insider’s Look – The Marshall Project
A Q&A session examines what it’s like to be an inmate firefighter in California, and you might be surprised at what they say. Vacationing in the trees: How forests are helping to grow Michigan’s tourism economy – Model D Media
Forest-based attractions are building a large amount of year-round tourism revenue for places like Traverse City in Michigan, and its having a great effect on the town. ... (Read More)

How Urban Forests Can Help Mitigate ADHD Symptoms

by American Forests
Children in park

By Conrad Kabbaz, Policy Intern

It is widely known that urban forests improve air quality, but could green spaces be the solution to one of the most common childhood disorders? Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, affects 10 percent of American children. Symptoms include difficulty focusing, high impulsivity, and restlessness, all of which can negatively impact academic performance and social interaction. It’s not surprising that children with ADHD often have lower grades and report more self-esteem issues than their unaffected peers. Causes of the disorder remain unclear, with genetics and environme... (Read More)

Forest Digest – Week of August 3, 2015

by American Forests
Trinity Forest in Dallas, Texas

Here’s the past week of all things forest, it’s your Forest Digest.

EPA releases Clean Power Plan, uncertainty for biomass remains – Biomass Magazine
In the recent legislation released by the EPA, the use of biomass for energy is regarded favorably; however, regulations for it are vague. More detailed rules are hoped to follow. US Raises Concerns About Pipeline Through Forests – ABC News
The U.S. Forest Service, along with environmental groups, are opposing the placement of a natural gas pipeline from Ohio to North Carolina by several large energy conglomerates as it is curre... (Read More)

Request for Proposals to Select Three New Community ReLeaf Cities

by Ian Leahy
Community ReLeaf planting in New Jersey.

American Forests has recently released a request for proposals to select at least three new cities or metropolitan areas to participate in its award-winning Community ReLeaf program.

Community ReLeaf launched in 2013 to provide a suite of technical and financial resources, all told averaging $100,000 in the initial phase. With primary support from the U.S. Forest Service and Bank of America Charitable Foundation, our overarching goal is to make strategic inputs that help improve both the near-term green infrastructure locally while also helping to expand capacity for managing the urban forest over the long-term.

P... (Read More)