Every Kid in a Park & Community ReLeaf: Serving America’s Children and Urban Forests

by American Forests
Every Kid in a Park

By Andrew Bell, Policy Intern

This week, the Outdoor Alliance for Kids hosted a suite of activities centered on their “Every Kid in a Park” event held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. To pay homage to the Alliance’s devotion to youth and to celebrate their success, let’s take a look at the groundbreaking initiative that made all of this possible.

On September 1st, the Obama Administration announced the “Every Kid in a Park” program, setting the stage for a shift in how today’s children view and interact with the great outdoors. Since that day, fourth graders across the nation can now acces... (Read More)

The Mental Benefits Provided by Urban Forests

by American Forests
Kids climbing tree

By Conrad Kabbaz, Policy Intern

We all feel better after a walk in the park, but can trees really be key to our mental well-being? According to recent studies featured in the New York Times and The New Yorker, they might, improving our physical health as well.

Promising Results

This possibility piqued the interest of Gregory Bratman, a Stanford graduate student.  A study he conducted showed improved happiness and attentiveness after participants walked through a green portion of the university campus. Subjects were compared to another group who walked the same distance near heavy traf... (Read More)

Forest Digest – Week of August 17, 2015

by American Forests
Grand Circus Park

Get some perspective on what’s happening with our forests with this week’s Forest Digest.

Prisoners Who Fight Wildfires in California: An Insider’s Look – The Marshall Project
A Q&A session examines what it’s like to be an inmate firefighter in California, and you might be surprised at what they say. Vacationing in the trees: How forests are helping to grow Michigan’s tourism economy – Model D Media
Forest-based attractions are building a large amount of year-round tourism revenue for places like Traverse City in Michigan, and its having a great effect on the town. ... (Read More)

How Urban Forests Can Help Mitigate ADHD Symptoms

by American Forests
Children in park

By Conrad Kabbaz, Policy Intern

It is widely known that urban forests improve air quality, but could green spaces be the solution to one of the most common childhood disorders? Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, affects 10 percent of American children. Symptoms include difficulty focusing, high impulsivity, and restlessness, all of which can negatively impact academic performance and social interaction. It’s not surprising that children with ADHD often have lower grades and report more self-esteem issues than their unaffected peers. Causes of the disorder remain unclear, with genetics and environme... (Read More)

Forest Digest – Week of August 3, 2015

by American Forests
Trinity Forest in Dallas, Texas

Here’s the past week of all things forest, it’s your Forest Digest.

EPA releases Clean Power Plan, uncertainty for biomass remains – Biomass Magazine
In the recent legislation released by the EPA, the use of biomass for energy is regarded favorably; however, regulations for it are vague. More detailed rules are hoped to follow. US Raises Concerns About Pipeline Through Forests – ABC News
The U.S. Forest Service, along with environmental groups, are opposing the placement of a natural gas pipeline from Ohio to North Carolina by several large energy conglomerates as it is curre... (Read More)