Getting Our Hands Dirty


by Loose Leaf Team
Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyo.By Michelle Werts If you’re a regular reader here on Loose Leaf, you know that our forests and ecosystems, while very good self-regulators, sometimes need a helping hand — and a helping hand is what they’re going to get en masse tomorrow. Tomorrow is National Public Lands Day, the largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands each year. On this, the 20th anniversary of the event, more than 2,000 projects are registered across the country. And it just so happens that American Forests is going to be out there doing our part, too. First, we’re co-hosting a volunteer tree planting in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National F... (Read More)



Saving a Little, Getting a Lot


by Loose Leaf Team
Sarayaku, EcuadorBy Michelle Werts How’s this for a bargain: By protecting 17 percent of the world’s land, we can preserve 67 percent of the world’s plant species. Not such a bad return on investment, eh? A new study published last week in Science revealed that two goals set by the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010 (protecting 17 percent of the world’s land and protecting 60 percent of the world’s flora) could actually be accomplished simultaneously. The scientists pinpointed Central America, Ecuador, the Caribbean and Taiwan as key locales for biological diversity, with China, the Middle East and South Africa also being area... (Read More)



The Need for Urban Parks


by Loose Leaf Team
Baseball in the ParkBy Michelle Werts I’m one of those people who remember very little of their childhoods. I have vague impressions of events and activities, but very little that is concrete. Among those “little” things, though, of which I have a crystal-clear memory are my childhood parks and playgrounds. I can picture the grove of trees where my friends and I hid away, the field where we played Red Rover, the monkey bars I conquered, the drinking fountain shaded by a forested path. If those places didn’t exist, I may not have had my front two teeth knocked, but my childhood also would not have been the same. I’m guessing that many of you have... (Read More)



Calculating Your Green Home


by Susan Laszewski
Stormwater runoffLast month, we joined our friends, American Rivers, in helping to spread the news of the importance of green infrastructure and encourage the EPA to update its approach to managing stormwater runoff. Green infrastructure, which is part of the urban forest, captures rainwater and allows it to be absorbed into trees, roots and soil, rather than running off paved surfaces, picking up pollution and sediment on its way to waterways. Many of you helped work to make a difference by telling your representatives to put pressure on the EPA to modernize their approach to stormwater. But if you’re a homeowner, you can also make a difference right no... (Read More)



Community ReLeaf in Asbury Park


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
A rain garden developed by the Asbury Park Environmental Shade Tree Commission in Asbury Park, N.J. A few weeks ago, I went on a site visit to Asbury Park, N.J. Nope, not to visit the Stone Pony, one of the world’s best-known music venues and a favorite hot spot for visits by Bruce Springsteen. Even better, I was there to visit the trees. Asbury Park is one of five inaugural Community ReLeaf project sites, which is why I found myself on my way to New Jersey. On my first day, I met with Tom Pivinski with the Asbury Park Environmental Shade Tree Commission and Lisa Simms with the New Jersey Tree Foundation to discuss the area’s urban forest and our Community ReLeaf project, which is assessing the urban forest in a number of ways, i... (Read More)