A Central Park Walkabout


by Matthew Boyer, VP of Individual Giving
American Forests supporters explore Central Park's North WoodsDespite a steady rain, 16 American Forests' supporters showed up for a beautiful stroll through the least visited part of New York’s Central Park called the North Woods over the weekend. This was the inaugural event for American Forests Walkabouts, a newly created program that provides opportunities for members and their friends to get out and enjoy forests in their own city or out in the wilderness. Regina Alvarez, former director of horticulture and woodland management for the Central Park Conservancy, guided our walk and did a wonderful job of teaching us all about the history of the North Woods, as well as the invasive species th... (Read More)



The Survivor Tree


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Oklahoma City Survivor TreeA week ago, I stood in front of “The Survivor Tree” at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing, humbled by the strength of this tree that so accurately reflects the courage and spirit of the Oklahoma City community. Today, as I hear stories and see images of the destruction caused by the tornado just four days after I left, my heart is saddened, and my thoughts are with those who must soon start to face the journey of recovery. Tearing through 17 miles of central Oklahoma and leveling hundreds of homes on Monday, the F5 tornado spanned 1.3 miles and packed winds that topped 200 mph. As the search continues for those who are missing, I’... (Read More)



A River Runs Through It


by Michelle Werts
Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. A few years ago, a friend and I decided to take an impromptu canoeing trip along the Potomac River. It was a lovely experience … until I attempted to climb out of the canoe and instead of finding myself on a dry dock, I found myself halfway submerged in the murky waters of the Potomac. After my laughter at my sheer clumsiness subsided, my next thought was “I need a shower and may need to burn these clothes” because anyone who lives in the D.C. area knows that the waters of the local Potomac and Anacostia Rivers are not the most sanitary places around. An innovative new program headed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is t... (Read More)



The Energy Savings of Trees


by Michelle Werts
Illustration of how to properly place trees to save energyLast week, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced a new act to Congress: The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act. The legislation, co-sponsored by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), focuses on a very specific ecological service provided by urban forests: energy savings. The TREES Act would set up a grant program to help electric utilities establish tree planting programs designed to reduce residential energy demands. The science behind this idea is pretty clear. According to research, just three large trees planted at a proper distance around your home — two on the west side... (Read More)



Announcing Community ReLeaf


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Atlanta, Ga.I am excited to announce that American Forests is launching a new urban forest program called Community ReLeaf. American Forests Community ReLeaf will directly work with urban communities to first assess and then restore their forests. This work will help develop new information and research about the relevance and importance of urban forests locally and nationally. Reaching geographically distributed communities across the country, American Forests aims to bring national attention to the value of our urban forests and the importance of strategic urban forest restoration to community well-being and ecological health. Thanks to a genero... (Read More)