Thanks for Making a Difference


by Susan Laszewski
Photo: Megan Higgs/American ForestsTomorrow is Make a Difference Day and reading the many stories of people volunteering their time and effort to help improve their corner of the world has got me thinking about the many American Forests supporters who have pitched in to help us in our mission of protecting and restoring forests. So, today a note of thanks: Here are just a few of the ways you have made a difference for our forests over the past 12 months: In mid-December last year, volunteers joined American Forests, the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation and the Arlington Tree Stewards to plant trees along Arlington, Va.’s Bluemont Junction Trail. Just look at t... (Read More)



Walk to School and Walk for Health


by Susan Laszewski
Walking to schoolDid you or your little ones miss International Walk to School Day yesterday? Not to worry. As the occasion has gained popularity in recent years, the International Walk to School Committee expanded it in 2010 to make the entire month of October Walk to School Month. Of course, there are many reasons why it’s not feasible for everyone to let their child walk to school. But, if you do live in an area where your kids might be able to skip the school bus, just think about some of the many benefits they, the rest of your family and your community stand to gain: exercise, a sense of community, reduced air pollution and expense by saving the ca... (Read More)



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)