Environmental education grows future leaders in sustainability

by American Forests
A campus sustainability tour at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Erin Sandlin, Policy Intern

Schools across the nation are “going green” by implementing carbon footprint reducing techniques such as incorporating solar power and instituting recycling and composting efforts. But do these actions really contribute to the greening of a school? What constitutes sustainable development?

Dr. Jean Kelso Sandlin, a professor at California Lutheran University and my mother, communicates in her paper, “Why ‘Greening’ the Campus has not Included the Classroom: The Challenges of Pedagogical Initiatives for Sustainability in Higher Education,” that educational institutions h... (Read More)

Celebrating 25 years of Cooperative Forestry

by American Forests

Deanne Buckman, Policy Intern

There’s an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. On April 29, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Tom Tidwell, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service gathered at a reception sponsored by American Forests, the Sustainable Urban Forest Coalition and many other forest advocacy groups to celebrate 25 years of cooperative forestry programs. Standing amongst all of those involved, I realized that it takes a village to raise a forest as well. As an intern, it was inspiring to see that people who may have slightly di... (Read More)

Striving to decrease nature deficit for children in urban areas

by Ian Leahy
kid in High line Park

Without a doubt, the part of urban forestry that intrigues me the most is environmental psychology – the study of how natural features impact our behavior. In both obvious and subtle ways, a growing body of research over the past couple decades has emerged that hints at just how deep this connection goes, particularly on children, and just how much further it could go if we created truly green cities teeming with healthy vegetation.

Some impacts are obvious. A study from the Landscape and Human Health Lab in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shows that fewer symptoms of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ... (Read More)

Urban forestry’s next frontier

by Ian Leahy
Helping bridge the gap between cities and nature, American Forests has helped plant trees in urban environments for decades, just like this project in Detroit, Ian's hometown.

Urban forestry.

The term itself seems contradictory. I used to gird myself when telling people what I do for a living. The inevitable bafflement would usually be followed by a pleasantly patronizing, “It’s nice you’re doing something you enjoy.”

I would never argue, though, because I really do enjoy this work. I enjoy its depth of impact that we are only beginning to understand, from improving air and water quality to influencing crime, obesity, psychology and energy, urban forestry encompasses a wide range of disciplines. Before becoming American Forests’ director of urban forest programs, I worked... (Read More)

Strengthening enforcement to protect our forests

by Loose Leaf Contributor
Diseased and dead ash trees — victims of the emerald ash borer — can wreak havoc on communities. Photo credit: Major Hefje, Ann Arbor, Mich.

By Faith Campbell, Emeritus environmental advocate and tree-pest expert

As my earlier blogs have demonstrated, highly damaging, tree-killing insects are introduced to North America in crates, pallets and other forms of wood packaging material (WPM).

Since it was first detected in 1996, U.S. and Canadian authorities have spent more than $500 million trying to eliminate the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). These efforts have eradicated ALB from Chicago, portions of the New York City metropolitan area, and Toronto. However, authorities are still dealing with large outbreaks in Massachusetts and Ohio; with an e... (Read More)