1000 Flowers for the Planet - #390 Create Your Own Urban Forest
I’m particularly lucky to live in a major city that has many urban forests, enough to make them easily accessible to most inhabitants. That’s one of the reasons Melbourne was voted the most liveable city in the world. Urban forests provide many important benefits to people, the landscape and the planet. Humans benefit from trees, which increase their sense of well-being, provide shade and a meeting place where people interact, decrease stress and consequently improve health. Trees provide shelter and food for many animals and insects, and may also help ensure the preservation of some species (red squirrels, for example). Urban forests moderate local climate by reducing wind and stormwater effects, and by keeping the climate cooler in summer, when cities are otherwise likely to experience the urban heat island effect. Trees counter-balance carbon dioxide emissions and reduce air pollution.
It follows that if people living in urban areas feel healthier and calmer due to the existence of and easy access to trees, then crime rates should reduce as a consequence. You can help by contacting local politicians and encouraging them to develop, maintain, increase or expand urban forests. You can add to the public forests by planting trees on your own private property and discouraging others from moonscaping. You can assist urban forest projects by helping to plant out new areas and taking an active interest in ensuring the trees survive. Trees help the planet to breathe – so let’s add more trees.