Social Benefits & Quality of Life
Trees make your life better.
Some benefits of trees are obvious: shade from the sun, habitat for wildlife, windbreaks, attractive landscaping, glare and reflection reduction, and sources of some medicines. Other services, while not as obvious, are equally important. Studies have shown that trees can reduce stress, and that views of trees can speed the recovery of surgical patients. All other things being equal, school campuses that have trees have higher graduation rates than those without them.
Research has also shown that greener urban areas encourage more healthy social interaction between adults and children, as well as lower levels of graffiti, property crime, and violent crime. Tree-shaded sidewalks encourage pedestrian activity – getting people to walk a few blocks rather than drive gives a city a friendlier atmosphere. Suburban and rural children still build tree houses in them. Urban areas tend to become concrete, glass, and steel islands of heat in summer, but trees and other plants help keep things more comfortable by providing shade and evaporation to lower temperatures.
Whether you live in Manhattan, New York, or Manhattan, Kansas, trees can enrich your life. In New York City, Central Park’s many trees help the car-infested city breathe cleaner air. Trees lining the streets of Washington, DC, provide habitat and food for a variety of birds. In Kansas, farmers use trees as windbreaks to prevent that distinct “farm” smell from spreading all over town.
There is no place, city or countryside, that isn’t made healthier and more enjoyable by trees.