Urban Forests Go to the Hill

by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Airplane Earlier this month, American Forests joined forces with other members of the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC) and took to Capitol Hill to speak up for urban forests across the country. As part of the SUFC annual “fly-in,” constituents from all over the country met up in D.C. to talk with their political representatives about their urban forests. Together, we held more than 40 meetings on the Hill, having discussions with staffers and sometimes even the congressional members themselves. Throughout the fly-in, I went with a constituent from Minnesota to visit four different Minnesota offices. We met with staff from the o... (Read More)

Protecting Urban Forests

by Scott Steen, President & CEO
The National Mall and U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.It is barely March, and throughout Washington, trees are budding. If you are not from here you may not realize it, but our nation’s capital is a city filled with trees of tremendous variety, and spring here bursts forth in a riot of colors and sweet smells (and major tree pollen!). City trees, of course, have enormous benefits beyond their physical beauty. They clean the air, cool the climate, control stormwater runoff, prevent soil erosion and lower energy costs. Studies show that they also reduce stress in city dwellers, lower crime, increase property values and reduce illness. This week, more than 40 members of the Sustainable ... (Read More)

Forests Create Vibrant Cities

by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Chicago, Illinois“At the root of every vibrant city is an urban forest.” This simple statement from the Vibrant Cities & Urban Forests National Call to Action speaks volumes to the importance of urban forests. Especially as urbanization continues to expand throughout our country, it will become increasingly important to understand just how crucial urban forests are to creating and maintaining vibrant cities. I find it fascinating that while only about three percent of the contiguous U.S. is considered urban, it is estimated that about 80 percent of our population (roughly 220 million Americans) lives in this urban area! And, over the next sever... (Read More)

Under the Nashville Canopy

by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Centennial Park in Nashville, TennesseeWe’d like to introduce a new member of the American Forests team and our newest blogger, Melinda Housholder. Moving forward, Melinda will be joining us every third Tuesday to share information specifically on urban forests, aka forests and trees in cities and towns. ~K&M I am excited to have joined American Forests as the Urban Forests Program Manager. For as long as I can remember, I have had a connection to trees, forests and nature. Growing up in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, I was exposed to lots of great music, tasty southern cooking and wonderful urban parks. While Tennessee might be home to the Smoky Mountains an... (Read More)

Treks and the City

by Amanda Tai
Recently, there’s been a huge push in this country to get people to be more active and maintain a healthier lifestyle. A major part of that effort is encouraging people to go outside. When we go outside, there’s a whole world of activities to explore: hiking, skiing, biking, kayaking and camping - just to name a few. There are also a lot of great things to see outside like trees, rivers and wildlife. But with a lot of us living in cities and suburbs, it’s not always easy to find the time and opportunity to really connect with nature. President Obama is well aware of the issue and has made it a top priority. Last year, he launched... (Read More)