IN CITY PARKS AND LINING NEIGHBORHOOD STREETS, trees connect us to the natural world and bear witness to moments big and small — laughter shared between children playing in a garden or a woman’s mid-day respite. Silent and strong, they are the backdrop to the hustle and bustle of urban life.
But their quiet belies the powerful ways they help us as we go about our everyday lives. Their branches provide shade when it’s hot and block harsh winds in the cold. Their mere presence can lift our mood.
Our connection to city trees takes many forms. On a sweltering summer day in Phoenix, a group of boys play beneath the palo verde trees at a community garden while their parents attend an outdoor yoga class. And across town, college students take a break from shooting a documentary film for which a leafy park sets the stage. Old or young, city dwellers turn to these green, shady spots when they exercise, relax and take the time to breathe. In a very real way, the quality of our health depends on trees. And their health depends on our care. From one corner of the cityscape to another, trees are central to our lives.