Category Archive: Blog


Seeing Restoration at Work

By Michelle Werts I never knew that walking through a forest could feel like walking on the beach, but that was the experience I had last week on the west coast of Michigan. On Thursday, my forest restoration colleagues and I were in Muskegon visiting the project sites of work we’ve supported through the American […]

When Life Gives You Lemons, Plant Trees

There’s absolutely nothing like a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. But when that lemonade goes to help a cause you believe in, it tastes even sweeter. We recently heard about two young entrepreneurial minds that are using this principle to the benefit of forests. Amanda Edwards of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, recently […]

The Giving Trees

With obesity rates constantly climbing and 75 percent of adults not consuming the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables, could trees help humanity pick a pear in place of a burger? Many cities believe that free fruits and vegetables could be a simple way to engage the public and help us all stay healthy. […]

Are Beetles Fanning Western Wildfires?

By Michelle Werts The last two wildfire seasons have been devastating to Coloradans. Lives have been lost, and homes and communities destroyed. Last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire caused more than $450 million in damages, destroying 347 homes in the Colorado Springs area and killing two people. This year’s recently contained Black Forest Fire is starkly […]

Defenders of the Coasts

There is a silent army out there protecting our coasts from invasion — a second Coast Guard, if you will. This army has protected us not from war, but from hurricanes, floods and other catastrophes. I’m talking about coastal buffers — the mangrove forests, wetlands and oyster beds that protect us from hurricanes, floods and […]

Celebrating Simplicity

Today is the birthday of American author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau, best known for Walden, a celebration of nature and of living simply. So, today, let’s all take a moment to reflect on our own relationship with nature. Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which […]

If You Protect It, They Will Come

By Michelle Werts The gopher tortoise. The ocelot. The red-cockaded woodpecker. The black bear. Within the last two years, American Forests Global ReLeaf projects in Florida, Texas, Alabama and Louisiana have restored forest habitat in these Gulf Coast states for each of the above listed species — alongside many more — and while we’re incredibly […]

Hot and Cold

Back in the Winter 2013 issue of American Forests magazine, we visited Harvard Forest in Petersham, Mass., where researchers are heating the soil with buried electric cables to gain some insight into how the changing climate will affect soil organisms like microbes and ants. So my interest was piqued when I read in E&E News […]

Creeping Away

About 1,700 years ago, humans first arrived on the scene on the island of Hawai’i. Since then, the island’s biodiversity has steadily declined. This is due to several factors: deforestation, humans repurposing land for agriculture and, possibly most detrimental, the introduction of non-native species. And it’s a non-native species that has put a Hawai’ian bird […]

Clearing the Air

By Michelle Werts “Air pollution is causing more deaths than HIV or malaria combined,” Kandeh Yumkella, director general of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, told a conference in Oslo trying to work out new U.N. development goals for 2030. –The Huffington Post Green, April 9, 2013 Sometimes, when talking about air pollution, we get so […]