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)



Urban Trees For Carbon Offsets


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
California power plant Earlier this month, I attended a workshop in Davis, California, called “Urban Forests & Carbon Markets” that American Forests participated in and co-sponsored through a grant with the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban & Community Forestry Program. As California takes the lead to develop a cap-and-trade model to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions statewide, American Forests is excited to be involved in efforts to advance urban forest projects for use in this cap-and-trade model. But before we get into my experience at the workshop, a little background: What’s going on in California? In 2006, California committed to reduce ... (Read More)



More Trees, Please


by Loose Leaf Team
By Katrina Marland Across this blog and throughout the American Forests website, you can find a wealth of information about the various and sundry benefits that trees can provide — from the physical (cleaner air) to the economic (higher property value). Trees can also tell us a lot of things, whether it is the inconsequential cliché etched in their bark that “Jimmy loves Sally” or the more important (at least scientifically) history of a region’s climate. And, as pointed out recently by another blogger, trees can also tell us how wealthy a neighborhood is — from space. In his blog, Per Square Mile, Tim DeChant discusses a 200... (Read More)