Digging in.90s activists place emphasis on getting things done, and where trees are concerned, it's yes in my backyard.
Money is tight and federal programs are being slashed left and right, but trees are still being planted in towns and cities across the country. Citizen tree-planting groups are forming in communities everywhere, and with help from new discoveries in urban forestry Urban forestry is the care and management of urban forests, i.e., tree populations in urban settings for the purpose of improving the urban environment. Urban forestry advocates the role of trees as a critical part of the urban infrastructure. , they're making an important difference.
The word 'activist' used to conjure up or make visible, as a spirit, by magic arts; hence, to invent; as, to conjure up a story; to conjure up alarms s>.
See also: Conjure images of angry protesters demanding government changes. Not any more. Today's community activists don't wait for the government to get things done, they take matters into their own hands. Citizen tree-planting groups such as AMERICAN FORESTS American Forests is a nonprofit conservation organization that promotes healthy forests and urban tree planting.
The organization was established in 1875 as the American Forestry Association, by physician/horticulturist John Aston Warder and a group of like-minded citizens , through its Global ReLeaf program, and TreePeople in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. are built around the idea that empowering individuals and communities with knowledge, resources, and personal commitment will have a domino effect across the country - and it has.
"There were only about five groups with paid staffs and less than 50 volunteer groups when Global ReLeaf was launched in 1988," says Deborah Gangloff, AMERICAN FORESTS' executive vice president. "Today there are more than 40 paid and around 800 volunteer groups."
Training Leads to Action
Training community residents has gotten a boost from recent innovations in computer mapping and analyzing programs that allow a community to place a dollar value on the benefits its trees provide. Urban planners List of urban planners chronological by initial year of plan.
"People who live in an area are really the ones who care about that particular environment, so that's the way you've got to do it," says Gangloff. "You've got to train people within a community, then those people go out and rally their neighbors."
That sense of community is especially strong in hurricane-ravaged south Florida. On the Saturday after National Arbor arbor
Garden shelter providing privacy and partial protection from the weather, most commonly a lightweight, latticed framework (trellis) of wood or metal with interlaced branches of vines or climbing shrubs trained over it. Day, more than 170 Dade County Dade County can refer to the following places:
Molly Feltham-Adams, a volunteer tree-planting trainer and landscape architect for Dade County public schools, showed volunteers - ages 6 to 74 - how to measure the distance from the side of a house to the planting location. She explained the importance of positioning trees to shade air-conditioning units and along the east, west, and south sides of a house - where the sun is hottest.
It was the kickoff of the four-Saturday Cool Communities Plant-A-Thon, a marathon tree-planting project to lower temperatures and energy use. The residents were excited, envisioning their community the way it used to be - home to lush palms and shade trees. Four years after Hurricane Andrew This article is about the 1992 hurricane; there was also a Tropical Storm Andrew during the 1986 Atlantic hurricane season.
Hurricane Andrew is the second-most-destructive hurricane in U.S. history, and the last of three Category 5 hurricanes that made U.S. , Richmond Heights is still recovering. Caught by the eye of the hurricane, the community lost much of its tree canopy and suffered damage to most of its houses. The focus has been on rebuilding homes and schools; until now, lawn trees have been viewed as an unaffordable un·af·ford·a·ble
Too expensive: medical care that has become unaffordable for many.
un luxury that would someday some·day
At an indefinite time in the future.
Usage Note: The adverbs someday and sometime express future time indefinitely: We'll succeed someday. Come sometime. be replaced.
But the Cool Communities program is proving that trees are an equally necessary part of the urban ecosystem Urban ecosytems are the cities, towns and urban strips constructed by humans.
This growth in the urban population and the supporting built infrastructure has impacted on both urban environments and also on areas which surround urban areas. . Recent studies show that an increased tree canopy brings a multitude of benefits: energy conservation, carbon sequestration sequestration
In law, a writ authorizing a law-enforcement official to take into custody the property of a defendant in order to enforce a judgment or to preserve the property until a judgment is rendered. , stormwater control, and a stronger sense of community among neighbors.
Dade County is one of seven pilot Cool Communities that will showcase the cooling effects of strategically placed trees and light-colored roofing. In each city, a local committee selects neighborhoods, recruits trainers, and raises money for the projects. The local utility company monitors direct savings, such as lower electric bills, and indirect savings, such as lower urban temperatures.
Jack Parker This article is about the American ice hockey player and coach. For the English cricketer, see Jack Parker (cricketer).
Jack Parker (born March 11, 1945 in Somerville, Massachusetts) is the current head coach of the Boston University Terriers men's ice hockey team. , a Florida International University Florida International University, primarily at University Park, Miami; coeducational; chartered 1965, opened 1972. A research university, it has 18 colleges and schools and many specialized centers and institutes, including those in biomedical engineering, database professor and a pioneer in research on energy conservation through appropriate tree planting, has said the direct impact of planting shade trees is great. "The cost-effectiveness of planting a single tree near a house to actually shade the walls and windows is more effective than any other energy conservation measure I can suggest. And a $100 tree will provide $500 to a house just in terms of increased property value."
Coping with The Coping With series of books is a series of books aimed at 11-16 year olds, written by Peter Corey and published by Scholastic Hippo. The first book, Coping with Parents, was released in 1989, and the series continued until the last book, Coping with Cash Funding Cuts
Recent federal funding cuts - including the elimination of the Small Business Administration's tree-planting program - require communities and private and nonprofit groups to initiate more tree planting programs than ever. Urban forestry departments in many states are feeling these cutbacks; in fact, Florida's Division of Forestry recently eliminated all 25 of its urban forester positions while retaining its 37 service and county foresters.
"But their focus is on environmental or classical forestry that deals with private landowners - not urban forestry," says Jim Harrell, the Division of Forestry's cooperative forestry supervisor. "So the other folks who always participated in urban forestry are taking a little bit more of a leadership role now."
For example, activists expect to feel much of the responsibility for implementing a new Dade County landscape ordinance requiring an increase in tree canopy and energy-conservation through tree plantings.
As other communities across the country successfully organize urban tree planting projects - with funding from private, nonprofit, state, county, city, or federal sources - they're also looking into analyzing their urban ecosystems to ensure smart planning (see Olympic Atlanta: Sprinting Toward Sustainability and Atlanta's Changing Environment, Spring 1996).
TreePeople of Los Angeles - a volunteer forestry, education, and outreach program founded in 1973 - began its Citizen Forester Training program 10 years ago. Citizens are trained in basic tree physiology Tree physiology
The study of how trees grow and develop in terms of genetics; biochemistry; cellular, tissue, and organ functions; and interaction with environmental factors. , leadership, project management, site and tree selection, time management, and obtaining permits and funding. The training classes are open to the public, and according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. spokesperson Kate Hahn, most who participate already have plans for improving their communities.
Long-term community involvement is crucial, she adds. "If neighbors are committed to the planting they will come out and make sure the trees survive by watering, pruning pruning, the horticultural practice of cutting away an unwanted, unnecessary, or undesirable plant part, used most often on trees, shrubs, hedges, and woody vines. , and making sure the stakes are removed at the right time."
The tree-planting projects also lead to healthier communities - a twofold benefit. "It really works to bring neighbors together to build a feeling of community and it also really works for the trees' benefit - they'll survive much longer," says Hahn.
Another citizen group has been motivating communities across Connecticut to plant trees. Meskwaka - a Native American word meaning Alonquin, or always green - was founded in 1991 by Bob Ricard, an urban forestry Cooperative Extension educator at the University of Connecticut The University of Connecticut is the State of Connecticut's land-grant university. It was founded in 1881 and serves more than 27,000 students on its six campuses, including more than 9,000 graduate students in multiple programs.
UConn's main campus is in Storrs, Connecticut. . Unlike most tree planting groups, Meskwaka is not open to the general public; Ricard uses word of mouth to recruit community activists. "Meskwaka cooperators" commit to a year of service and receive three days of free intensive educational, technical, and motivational training. Ricard's track record is good; over the last five years, 115 of the 125 volunteers have remained active after their first year. "Motivation is the key here," he says. "Volunteers go out into their communities and do amazing a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
Groups such as these provide motivation, plus technical information on planting, care, and fundraising, and they teach citizens how to incorporate trees into community planning and how to interact with government groups. "National tree-planting groups can't organize each community planting," Gangloff says. "We provide the background information, and that's all people need to get the ball rolling."
At an Arbor Day ceremony to kick off the Dade County Plant-A-Thon, local environmental groups, sponsors, students, and supporters gathered in front of the courthouse to celebrate the culmination of three years of fundraising, research, and planning. County Commissioner Katy Sorenson declared it Cool Communities Day and asked everyone to plant a tree in an energy-saving location. Students from Hammocks Middle School's EcoAction club displayed birdhouses built with Cool Communities' strategies in mind. Some had white roofs, designed to reflect sunlight, while others had traditional heat-absorbing black roofs.
Those attending learned the county, which encompasses Miami, could save $14.4 million if every resident planted one shade tree on the sunny side of their house. Nancy Masterson, AMERICAN FORESTS' southeast region coordinator and organizer of the Plant-A-Thon, announced the results era recent urban ecological analysis of Dade County using CITYgreen software.
With funding from the proceeds of 1994 and 1995 Global ReLeaf Earth Day Walks for Trees; donations from schools, scout troops, clubs, corporations, and public agency employees; and state grants, Cool Communities has laid the groundwork to increase Dade County's tree canopy. The Plant-A-Thon added 398 trees around 86 homes as it inspired community members and volunteers to continue their tree planting and education efforts.
Organization Key to Success
Masterson says the strategy behind community organizing The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. is simple. She used mailings and informational workshops to recruit neighborhood leaders and gather a core of volunteer block captains. They educated neighbors about the planting project, selected trees from nurseries, and learned how to plant and care for them. Three days of tree plantings were held in Richmond Heights - Florida's first planned African-American community - and one in Homestead Homestead.
1 City (1990 pop. 26,866), Dade co., SE Fla.; inc. 1913. A large Miami suburb with a growing Hispanic population, Homestead is a trade center for the redland district, known for its many varieties of citrus and other fruits and vegetables. Habitat for Humanity's Jordan Commons, a development for low-income families incorporating Cool Communities and other energy-saving concepts.
Block captain Celestine cel·es·tine
[German Zölestin, from Latin caelestis, celestial; see celestial.] Laborn, of Richmond Heights, said most people wanted trees but initially were skeptical. Senior citizens asked who would rake the leaves. Many were afraid because of their experiences during the hurricane.
It's a common belief that trees are a hazard during a hurricane, but often it's just the opposite. "My car was totaled and all the windows in the back of my house broke, except where a tree fell by my sliding glass door, and I think that's what That's What is one of the more idiosyncratic releases by solo steel-string guitar artist Leo Kottke. It is distinctive in it's jazzy nature and "talking" songs ("Buzzby" and "Husbandry"). protected it," Laborn says. "We couldn't get out the door, but it didn't break. Trees sort of form a natural barrier."
Florida International University's Parker agrees. "Although some trees fell on houses and caused damage, more commonly it turns out that trees actually protected houses, particularly clumps clump
1. A clustered mass; a lump: clumps of soil.
2. A thick grouping, as of trees or bushes.
3. A heavy dull sound; a thud.
v. of trees located near a house," he says. "Trees don't crash over in even 140-mph winds; they're more likely to bend over Bend over may refer to the action of bending one's body over, as in to pick up something, or, for example, as the hydra does in order to move when hunting, in dancing (like in the various breakdance moves), gymnastics, and sports (like snap football). . And once they're bent over and resting on a house, they actually can act as a wind ramp to channel wind over the house and reduce overall damage."
Laborn's experience helped sell her neighbors on the project. Before the hurricane, the cooling bill for her shaded house averaged $125; now it runs between $300 and $400. "I told them that trees bring your property value up and that the main purpose of this whole project is to help us save our energy, save on our electric bill...My sales pitch was, 'We're trying to make the neighborhood beautiful and cool it off.'"
The block captains' enthusiasm was contagious contagious /con·ta·gious/ (-jus) capable of being transmitted from one individual to another, as a contagious disease; communicable.
1. Of or relating to contagion. . Hermeine Gibson, another block captain, says, "Now everyone who didn't get a tree wants to get one!"
Elloree Mullins, a Richmond Heights resident, lost five trees "Five Trees" in Paradise is a mysterious allegory or concept from famous Coptic Gospel of Thomas NHC 2: (gnostic library from Nag Hammadi in Egypt) 19th saying/logia of Jesus and other sources of religious mythology. in the hurricane and stood by watching as three new ones took their place during a Saturday planting. "This has just made me realize how nice people are," she said. "You never know people until you really need them, and then they come."
Members of Killian High School's ecology club raised money to plant three trees at a Richmond Heights house. Carol Farber, a teacher and club sponsor, brought 10 students to one of the plantings. "I think it's very important to get the kids and the community involved in the project, and not just have someone come in and do it for them," she said. "It brings out community spirit and involvement, and also a sense of responsibility."
Community involvement has been key to the Cool Community program's success, according to Dade County's George Baldwin, a member of the program's local committee and a Richmond Heights block captain. In 1994, Richmond Heights received a county grant for tree planting and education and, with help from AMERICAN FORESTS, planted 55 oaks at a middle school. That led to a neighborhood crime watch and tree-planting classes for children. A county grant funded a program that pays teenagers to plant and care for trees at elderly residents' homes.
"Cool Communities has encouraged the whole community to plant trees," Baldwin says. "It wakes up people and gets them involved. Where we planted trees, we had people talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to one another. Now residents know and look out for one another.
"I don't think anyone had ever thought in terms of looking at a community where you had a lot of elderly people who basically said, 'Well, I don't want a tree because I can't water the tree,'" he adds. "It opened up a lot of other doors, because many of the young people really took older people for granted. After first-hand experience in helping them, it was a whole different ballgame.
"If the county or some other entity had been the one to plant the trees, without giving consideration to the social aspects, the planting program would not have been as successful," he says. "Ours goes beyond that. I think the Cool Communities process needs to be duplicated again and again throughout the nation."
President Clinton agrees; in the Administration's Climate Change Action Plan - the national blueprint for reducing emissions, cleaning the air, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels fossil fuel: see energy, sources of; fuel.
Any of a class of materials of biologic origin occurring within the Earth's crust that can be used as a source of energy. Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum, and natural gas. - he recommends the program expands to 250 cities by the year 2000. (For information on how your city can participate, write to Jeff Beattie at AMERICAN FORESTS, P.O. Box 2000, Washington, DC 20013.)
AMERICAN FORESTS' Gangloff points out that it is the work of groups of individuals like those in south Florida that is making important changes in our environment. "Community organizing has to happen in each neighborhood," she says. "Cities are just groups of neighborhoods; they're made up of a lot of parts, a lot of backyards."
For information on tree planting groups in your area, contact your state urban forest coordinator, local Extension agent, or the national Alliance for Community Trees at 800/228-8886. For a list of state coordinators for community tree-planting projects, write to the Citizen Forestry Support System, AMERICAN FORESTS, P.O. Box 2000, Washington, DC 20013 or email CFSS CFSS Canadian Forces Supply System
CFSS Child and Family Support Services (Tempe, AZ)
CFSS Civil Fingerprint Screening Services (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) @amfor.org.
RELATED ARTICLE: What Tree in What Place?
Mention Florida and images of tall palms swaying in tropical breezes come to mind. The official state tree is the sabal palm, and many visitors try to cram at least one coconut in their suitcases before leaving. But foresters and ecological researchers are beginning to realize that, environmentally speaking, palms are not the best tree for Florida's landscape.
Many palms are actually not at home in Florida; they are exotic trees imported from southern countries. According to Jack Parker, a Florida International University professor and pioneer researcher of energy conservation through appropriate tree planting, it is important to plant drought-resistant, disease-resistant native trees. Native palms include the sabal, royal, silver, and key thatch palms.
Parker stresses that a tree must be appropriate for its location. "If you take a swamp tree and put it in the middle of the yard, you're planting a tree that's going to require a lot of watering, which is an energy-intensive process," he says.
Shade trees are important for reducing air-conditioning bills and mitigating global warming global warming, the gradual increase of the temperature of the earth's lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. and the urban heat-island effect, Parker says, but it is necessary to reduce fossil fuel inputs while maintaining these trees. "One of the ways to do this is to plant appropriate native, indigenous trees that are adapted to that spot.
"One of the best ways to preserve somewhat isolated, natural areas is to have as much natural tree canopy nearby as possible," he adds. "You don't do that with exotics."
Dade County's tree canopy is low - only 10 percent - in its unincorporated areas In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality. To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, i.e., a city or town with its own government. and half of residential energy consumption is used for air conditioning air conditioning, mechanical process for controlling the humidity, temperature, cleanliness, and circulation of air in buildings and rooms. Indoor air is conditioned and regulated to maintain the temperature-humidity ratio that is most comfortable and healthful. , according to an urban ecological analysis conducted using AMERICAN FORESTS' CITYgreen software. The analysis suggests limiting the use of palms because they provide little shade for reducing the urban heat island An urban heat island (UHI) is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surroundings. The temperature difference usually is larger at night than during the day and larger in winter than in summer, and is most apparent when winds are weak. effect and air pollution.
Joe McGuire Joseph Blair "Joe" McGuire, PC , MP (born June 20, 1944 in Morell, Prince Edward Island) is a Canadian politician. He is a Member of Parliament representing the Liberals in the House of Commons for the riding of Egmont in Prince Edward Island. , project supervisor at Metro Dade's Department of Environmental Resource Management, suggests phasing palms out of the Florida landscape while planting more shade trees. Although people are realizing that Florida needs the energy-saving, cooling effects of canopy trees, there are also economical and emotional factors involved.
Economically, the state is vested in palm trees. "Nursery growers have thousands of acres of all sorts of palms throughout south Florida," says McGuire. "The Florida Nursery Growers Association is a powerful industry with a strong lobby."
"The controversy is over aesthetics versus function," he says. "The palm trees lend a tropical atmosphere to communities, and that's desirable. But from the standpoint of heat island reduction, it's not." - Kathryn Tenusak
AMERICAN FORESTS would like to thank the Dade County Plant-A-Thon's corporate contributors, including AT&T, Chevrolet-Geo, and Texaco.
Kathryn Tenusak is an associate editor at AMERICAN FORESTS.