Creativity in the Wild


by Susan Laszewski
Thinking and creating in nature

Have you ever been strolling through the park and suddenly been hit by with a sense of clarity or the solution to a problem you didn’t even know you were thinking about? Or said to yourself, “I need some fresh air,” just as you were on the verge of throwing in the towel on a difficult task?

Yesterday, we shared a video with you about how trees help create a sense of calm and reduce stress. Director of our Urban Forests program Melinda Housholder has also written on the positive effects of urban forests on our health — both mental and physical. Now, a study published earlier this month in PLOS One addresses the effect of time... (Read More)




Video Break: Urban Forests


by Loose Leaf Contributor

For today’s post, we’d like to give our readers a fun three-minute break. If you enjoy these short videos about the benefits of urban forests, please share them with your friends and tell your city council how much your neighborhood trees mean to you!

Urban Forests Cool Our Cities


Trees and greenspaces in cities cool our cities, reducing heating and cooling costs and making time outdoors more pleasant, but often this benefit is forgotten in the midst of other municipal concerns. Contact your city council or mayor’s office to tell them how important trees are in your city.

... (Read More)



Analyzing Our Forests


by Loose Leaf Team
Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, California

By Gerry Gray, Ph.D., Senior Vice President

On Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service released its major, long-term assessment of the current conditions, trends and future projections for our nation’s forests and rangelands. Known as the 2010 Resources Planning Act Assessment, or simply the RPA assessment, this document — and the many technical reports on which it is based — contains a wealth of information for anyone interested in our forests and rangelands and the services and benefits they provide to society. In 1974, Congress mandated the preparation of an RPA assessment every 10 years, and each report’s job ... (Read More)




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.

Arlington is close to home for us, but a lot of Global ReLeaf projects are close to someone’s home. While American Forests works to put mill... (Read More)




Making Their Own Kind of Music


by Susan Laszewski
Vermilion flycatcher

Though 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.

Previous studies have shown different frequencies between urban birdsong and birdsong in the wild, but until recently, no study had looked at the tropical cousins of these songbirds. Now, Alejandro Ariel Ríos-Chelén and fellow researchers at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico have published a study that does just that.

The researchers recorded the songs of 29 male vermilion flycatchers in Mexico City and found that birds in noisier ... (Read More)