The benefits of urban forests are numerous from improving the overall quality of life for citizens, through mitigating severe weather conditions such as strong winds, floods, and hot weather to reduce the effects of climate change by means of carbon sequestration and storage!
Yes, despite all the potential benefits, there is still a profound lack of an integrated approach toward the management of urban and peri-urban forests!
Urban forestry is the care and management of urban forests for the purpose of improving the urban environment, where trees are considered an important part of urban infrastructure!
- Roles and responsibilities include:-
- Plant and maintain trees!
- Support appropriate tree and forest preservation!
- Conduct research!
- Promote the benefits that trees provide!
The people responsible for urban forestry include municipal and utility foresters, environmental policymakers!
Municipal and commercial arborists!
And city planners, as well as educators, researchers, consultants, and community activists!
- Urban forestry setbacks:-
Poor growing conditions: Unless you’re planting in a fertile area that is exposed to a lot of sunshine!
It can be difficult to really grow green areas in grey ones!
Loss of green spaces: Whenever a new building, parking lot, or housing development needs to go up the first thing to usually go is green areas!
Uneducated residents: If people don’t understand the benefits of having green areas in their city it will be difficult to motivate them to care!
Education is the first step towards progress!
- Implementing a strategy:-
Management goals should be set based on the attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge of the people living or working in the area in question!
They should of course, also take into consideration the available space and budget!
If community members don’t seem keen, then a degree of education will need to happen before anything else can begin!
- Some key points you might mention are:-
Urban forests improve air quality and biodiversity and absorb rainwater!
Social and medical benefits: Poor urban areas usually lack green space!
Green areas can also offset the stress of city life, renew energy, and improve health issues long-term!
Green areas are great for schools: Studies have indicated that children who spend lots of time outdoors improve in their reading, writing, social skills, math skills, and more!
Add beauty to a community: Developing green spaces can really open up a community and make it a beautiful place to spend time in!
Moreover, by having a shared space that is clean, green, and attractive!
Community members can get to know each other, put on social events, and spend more time outdoors!
There are many benefits to urban forestry, but like anything, people need to be on board!
Depending on the community and accessible budget, that might mean some arm twisting is required!
With the right planning and execution, however, almost anything is possible!
Are you enjoying it? Yes, then read, otherwise read another post!
Urban Forestry Management
Urban forestry is a relatively new discipline and therefore the rules for successful management and preservation have not yet been well defined!
The roots of urban forestry may be traced back to North America, wherein 1896 the first tree warden law was passed in Massachusetts!
And the other five New England states quickly followed!
Therefore, the US experience may be taken as a starting point in developing a comprehensive international approach to urban forestry management!
In 1990, a special body, or the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC)!
Was established with the US Forest Service in order to promote a consistent vision for urban forestry practices!
On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Union also takes some steps toward urban forestry development!
The EU Forestry Strategy emphasizes the importance of sustainable forestry management (SFM)!
However, forest policy is to a large extent dealt with on a national level as it falls within the sphere of competence of EU Member States!
This also refers to the area of urban forestry management!
Where the Member States have the authority to decide how to apply measures and how to allocate financial resources for urban forestry projects!
Yes, the need to promote sustainable urban forestry has been acknowledged on a community level!
And in 2019, the European Commission introduced its initiative!
“European Green Capital”, with the purpose of encouraging cities to pay more attention to their environmental development and create “role models” for other European cities to follow!
This initiative of the European Commission seems to reflect the need to motivate local authorities to increase!
The number of forestry investments intended for the improvement of the environment in their respective urban areas!
Improving the urban environment and quality of life is also supported with the assistance of the LIFE program of the European Commission!
However, the variety of EU initiatives and strategies related to urban forestry are applicable!
More or less on a voluntary basis and integrated community policy seems to be missing on a European level!
According to the European Environment Agency’s publication “11 messages for 2019 Forest Ecosystems”!
About three-quarters of the population in the EEA region live in urban areas and expectations are that numbers will rise up to 90% by 2021!
This constitutes the need for more comprehensive actions directed at establishing European standards in the area of urban and peri-urban forestry!
Establishing standards or guidelines in the field of urban forestry!
Regardless of whether they would take the form of a common EU policy, or be applied on a global scale, as envisaged by the FAO, is quite a challenging task!
By default, urban forestry refers to the management of more or less limited spaces!
And has to take into account a variety of circumstances such as light and water supply, poor soil quality, urban planning, etc!
There are also cultural and social specifics to consider and they differ greatly from one region to another!
Therefore, initiatives for creating public awareness about the importance of urban forests are quite important as well as encouraging authorities to plan!
Forestry investments in their budget when focusing on the development of urban and peri-urban areas!
The benefits of forests on urban ecosystems have motivated the FAO to introduce guidelines!
In order to help state and local authorities to plan measures and forestry investments to preserve and further develop what they already have!
Growing Plants From Seed In Urban Forestry
I wonder about growing plants from seed every year, even though I used to start over twelve hundred every year!
Still, it is amazing to see them grow and flourish when the seeds are often so tiny!
On the other hand, there is a lot that says for us to relax and just plant them and let them grow the way want to grow!
I have watched small children and even tried to help them plant seeds to grow up to be everything for beans to marigolds to sunflowers!
Their hands are small and fine coordination is lacking and their enthusiasm makes everything spill and water pour too hard and seeds go too deep!
When the leaves appear and the plant grows on I am not sure who is more excited, me of them!
Certainly, I am amazed at how enthusiasm has succeeded in overcareful manipulation and my years of practice!
When you look out our living room window you can see a bird feeder hanging from a branch of the pine tree!
It is visited by all sorts of birds from chickadees to a woodpecker that seems to think the peanuts are his!
Often the chickadees, in particular, will hold on to the feeder and sort through the fare for sunflower seeds!
Meanwhile throwing aside all sorts of other goodies to the ground where there is already scattered other birdseed for the juncos, mourning doves, and bluejays!
Every summer some kind of grain tries to grow there as well as sunflowers and other plants!
One or two tend to start in among the potted plants that grow on the patio next to the feeder!
Mostly the deer tend to nip them off, but the plants are growing well most of the time before that!
No one planted them or gave them special soil, they fell as nature intended, moved by some birds, and missed by others!
Possibly some moved through the animal’s digestive tract although I have seen little evidence of that!
Yes, we worry about sowing seeds indoors for fear that they will not grow or they will collapse, too much water may be given or too little!
Questions arise of light and potting mixes and temperatures and if a cold frame is needed and what to do with it!
Much of the time we worry we stand beneath a pine tree reaching 50 feet into the air!
Only God or Mother Nature or happenstance have planted it depending on your point of view and even God just threw out some seed and stood back to see what would happen!
It is good to do our best to try and get things right and start our plants off as best we can, but it is also good to remember that we garden because it is fun!
We start plants from seed because it is not something we wish to agonize over but rather something to enjoy!
It is another step in the progress from empty soil to flourishing flowers and delicious vegetables!
Plants like to grow, seed likes to be sown, just relax and enjoy, something will grow!
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