A Hospital Oasis Under Threat


by Loose Leaf Team
Prouty Memorial Garden, Boston Children’s HospitalBy Michelle Werts Sometimes — oftentimes — it feels as though nature and development are locked in an eternal battle. Cities and communities are continually running out of space, while trees, flowers and shrubs need lots of precious space to thrive. So what is one to do when more space is needed for infrastructure, but the only way to get it is to destroy a greenspace? That’s the question currently facing Boston Children’s Hospital. Boston Children’s Hospital is one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the U.S. and services almost 25,000 inpatient admissions each year. It has more than 1,100 scientists producing res... (Read More)



For the Love of Trees


by Loose Leaf Team
Tim KastningBy Michelle Werts Earlier this month, the International Society of Arborists (ISA) announced the five members of the 2012 class of its “True Professionals of Arboriculture.” According to ISA President Colin Bashford, “The True Professional honor is a celebration of those who reach for and strive to maintain high standards of the arboriculture industry. Their achievements and ideas educate and inspire others. We are proud they play such a leading role in promoting quality tree care.” Since arborists are on the frontlines every day, protecting and studying trees in our cities, communities and forests, Loose Leaf is taking the n... (Read More)



Urban Forests for Healthy Healing


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Urban forests are vital to help maintain our emotional, mental and physical well-being. The evening before I had wrist surgery a few weeks ago, I went for a jog. In a time when I was feeling anxious and just needed some time to think about the road of recovery ahead of me, I found myself jogging along a neighborhood trail within my local urban forest. I couldn't help but notice that my surroundings immediately made me feel much better — more relaxed and encouraged to cope with the challenges ahead. That evening, I ran past the oaks, sycamores, sweetgums and elms of my community, leaving my worries behind me and feeling the peaceful s... (Read More)



Weather and Urban Forests: For Better and Worse


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Bike riding in the park In the last few weeks, many folks, especially on the East Coast, have witnessed the realities of urban forests — for better and for worse. With temperatures across the country exceeding heat records, urban forests have played a critical role in providing a shade refuge for pedestrians, cyclists and anyone stuck out in the heat. For example, in a rather un-canopied area of Baltimore, with the sun beaming down on a 100-degree day, I witnessed several people huddled under a single street tree as they waited for their bus. According to EPA, “shaded surfaces may be 20-45°F cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded materials.“ Tre... (Read More)



Raising Urban Forests


by Loose Leaf Team
sacramento urban forestBy Michelle Werts As the old adage goes, it takes a village to raise a child. I don’t know how true this is for child rearing, but I do know it takes a village to raise a forest in a city. I’ve spent the last week in Sacramento, California, and Portland, Oregon, meeting with the dedicated men and women who help keep their cities’ urban forests in tip-top shape — and what a job that is. In Sacramento, every tree that the city possesses — we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of trees — was deliberately placed there, beginning way back at the city’s founding in 1850. This is because Sacramento’s climate isn’t s... (Read More)