The Best Urban Forests


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Top 10 graphic - 10 Best CitiesWe are excited today to announce the 10 best U.S. cities for urban forests. In alphabetical order, those cities are Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Portland, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C. American Forests took on this project to help people (and city leaders) better understand the critical value of urban forests in their cities — to their own lives, health, economies and well-being of their communities. And to, therefore, invest in their urban forests. We see proactive individuals as a key to maintaining urban forests. These people recognize that trees around them are not just pretty shade provider... (Read More)



Urban Forests on a National Stage


by Amanda Tai
Credit: Bill Holmes/Flickr According to the U.S. Forest Service, Washington D.C., is often referred to as the “city of trees” because of its unique layout and landscapes. A huge component of the city’s urban forest is the National Mall. Millions of people visit the National Mall and its surrounding memorials and museums each year. On January 20, 2009, a whopping 1.8 million people flooded the National Mall to attend President Obama’s first inauguration, the largest attendance of any event ever in Washington, D.C. For President Obama’s second inauguration this past Monday, the crowd only totaled about 800,000. Even though that’s less than half the people... (Read More)



ID the Tree!


by Melinda Housholder, Urban Forests Program Director
Great Falls Park in January 2013 This last weekend, I went on a wonderful hike around Great Falls Park. As we started the hike, I was quickly reminded of the Winter Tree ID class that I took several years ago, where we went on a field trip to that exact same location at this time of year to identify the trees. As I looked around, I realized that this was perfect timing to continue testing out my knowledge, especially without many leaves around to help me out! While leaves can make tree identification much easier, it is always a fun and exciting challenge to correctly identify trees in the winter — and it is often not really all that hard. So, for the next hike that ... (Read More)



Creativity in the Wild


by Susan Laszewski
Thinking and creating in natureHave you ever been strolling through the park and suddenly been hit by with a sense of clarity or the solution to a problem you didn’t even know you were thinking about? Or said to yourself, “I need some fresh air,” just as you were on the verge of throwing in the towel on a difficult task? Yesterday, we shared a video with you about how trees help create a sense of calm and reduce stress. Director of our Urban Forests program Melinda Housholder has also written on the positive effects of urban forests on our health — both mental and physical. Now, a study published earlier this month in PLOS One addresses the effect of time spent ... (Read More)



Video Break: Urban Forests


by Loose Leaf Contributor
For today's post, we'd like to give our readers a fun three-minute break. If you enjoy these short videos about the benefits of urban forests, please share them with your friends and tell your city council how much your neighborhood trees mean to you! Urban Forests Cool Our Cities Trees and greenspaces in cities cool our cities, reducing heating and cooling costs and making time outdoors more pleasant, but often this benefit is forgotten in the midst of other municipal concerns. Contact your city council or mayor's office to tell them how important trees are in your city. Urban Forests Clean Our Air Trees and greenspaces... (Read More)