ReLeaf Close to Home


by Susan Laszewski
American Forests volunteer helps Arlington County employee with tree-planting.By working with partners far and wide, American Forests is able to fund restoration projects from Maine to Hawaii, and even in places as far from our Washington, D.C. offices as Kenya. But some projects are a bit closer to home. Yesterday, Jesse Buff and Megan Higgs, our director and manager of forest restoration programs, took some time off from preparing the 2013 Global ReLeaf projects to visit a 2012 project that’s just a hop, skip and a jump from the American Forests offices. We partnered with Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation to plant trees on Arlington County public lands, and some American Forests volunteers came out... (Read More)



Making Their Own Kind of Music


by Susan Laszewski
Vermilion flycatcherThough originating on different sides of the Atlantic, two studies released this month both underscore the complexities of wildlife adaptation to the urbanization of their habitats. I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes sets my alarm clock’s ring tone to “birdsong” for a soothing start to the day. But birdsong is much more than calming and beautiful sounds. Songbirds sing to attract mates, to define their territory and even to defend themselves against threats. But what about urban songbirds? How do they compete with the noise of the city? Previous studies have shown different frequencies between urban birdsong and birds... (Read More)



Partnering for Healthier Cities


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Sacramento Convention Center Last week, I attended the 2012 Partners in Community Forestry National Conference in Sacramento, Calif. This conference is all about making connections — including connecting with the community forestry network and sharing information about what is happening with community forestry around the country. With more than 500 attendees — ranging from urban foresters, arborists and utilities to nonprofits, state and federal governments and even a mayor — there was a lot to learn and a lot to share. To start off the conference, Dr. Dave Nowak, project leader at the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station and a member of the America... (Read More)



Transforming Cities With Trees


by Scott Steen, CEO
Detroit's New Center. Credit: Dig Downtown DetroitToday, I am excited to share the results of a year-long initiative with you. Last fall, American Forests began a project in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program to conduct research on and spread awareness of the amazing benefits of urban forests. Urban forests are ecosystems composed of trees and other vegetation that provide cities and municipalities with environmental, economic and social benefits. They include street and yard trees, vegetation within parks and along public rights of way, water systems, fish and wildlife. As part of this project, we looked at 12 remarkable cities to garner les... (Read More)



Counting Their Losses


by Alex Cimon
Pine tree blocking a street in BostonIn the wake of Hurricane Sandy, assessing the damage has become a priority. After a storm in which millions of people lost power and the streets of New York and New Jersey were shut down, it is clear that much of the East Coast has seen significant destruction. It can be difficult to quantify the losses, as many cities are continuing relief efforts. But arborists and urban foresters are beginning to tally the number of fallen trees and evaluate their respective city’s position. Falling trees are one of the major dangers facing urban and suburban areas during a natural disaster. You have probably heard stories of trees damaging the in... (Read More)