“The key to defining urban forests is to define urban land. The term “urban” connotes areas with relatively high amounts of people and artificial surfaces. The
|Example of Urban Forestry.|
U.S. Census Bureau has a specific definition of urban based on population density (urbanized areas and urban-clusters)” [Sustaining America’s Urban Trees and Forests; Page 3]
Forestry is a much relied on area for most of the urban life. Almost 80 percent of the United States live in an overly populated urban area, and most rely on the forestry that is given to the community. Even if the forest isn’t a primary forest it is still important and should be preserved. The point of my research paper is to prove the importance of urban forestry. “Urban trees also provide innumerable annual ecosystem services that affect both the local physical environment (such as air and water quality)” [Sustaining America’s Urban Trees and Forests; Page 5]. Also, with ecological benefits it can provide a safe and healthy place for citizens to participate in extracurricular activities. It can provide a safe place from traffic, and construction to work out. As an artist I use urban forestry for my photography, and most other artists are inspired by the simple nature which lives in the heart of the city.
|Percentage Map of Urban Land.|
Besides the point of urban forestry being a major key into our everyday extracurricular activities it benefits our carbon footprint greatly. There is so much of carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere. With urban trees it reduces the amount of greenhouse gases tremendously. “Reduced emissions can be substantial, especially in regions with large numbers of air-conditioned buildings, long cooling seasons, and where coal is the primary fuel for electric power generation.” [Climate Change Resource Center; Urban Forest and Climate Change]. These trees can reduce the amount of air-conditioning being used by the shade it can provide. Every kind of tree stores mass amounts of CO2 below ground which is why it is important to not cut down trees because once it has been cut down it can release the carbon dioxide that was stored underground.
Urban forestry was a response to the population growth into the urban areas. The population of urban areas began to rise in 1950’s and is still growing rapidly. The population grew more to the urban areas due to two factors such as the population was generally growing, and more people from farm areas was moving to urban areas and less to farms. When the mass amount of people moved from rural areas to urban areas it caused a sprawl. Sprawl holds variety meanings, but the definition given from “Environment: Science behind the Stories” is “The spread of low-density urban or suburban development outward from an urban center.” This can mean traffic jams, loss of wildlife, and deforestation. The sprawl can impact our health by the pollution it can cause. As said earlier when a tree is cut down it releases mass amounts of greenhouses into our atmosphere, and damaging our environment as well as our health. Urban forestry can prevent the pollution from the city to increase.
Since urban forestry is important to our health, and environment shouldn’t we help to preserve and maintain it? Indeed we should. Multiple factors contribute to damaging our urban forest. Wildfires are one of the biggest factors into the deforestation of urban areas. Wildfires are caused by leaving a fire unattended, and making a fire uncontrollable. Both of those factors are caused by humans, and can easily be controlled. Invasive plants, air pollution, and deforestation by humans are also contributions to damaging our urban forests. Another kind of contribution derives from natural catastrophic events. Unfortunately we cannot protect our urban forests from natural disasters. However, we can volunteer to clean up and restore our parks. We could clean and maintain our parks at any time whether there is a natural disaster or not. Maintaining our urban forests will cause it to exist longer.
|Innis Woods (Found From the Parks Website http://www.metroparks.net/parksinniswood.aspx)|
As someone who grew up in urban areas I found myself attracted to the parks that exist in the inner cities. It’s always been of importance to maintain our cities natural beauties, and as artists we should care for the development of these parks as we seek for inspiration. Not only does it cause inspiration it provides a healthy environment.
Here are some parks one could find in Columbus, Ohio:
1.Battelle Darby Creek, Galloway
2.Blacklick Woods and Blacklick Woods Golf Course, Reynoldsburg
3.Blendon Woods, Westerville
4.Chestnut Ridge, Carroll
5.Clear Creek, Rockbridge (located in the Hocking Hills)
6.Glacier Ridge, Plain City
7.Heritage Trail, Hilliard
8.Highbanks, Lewis Center
9.Inniswood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve (Inniswood Metro Gardens), Westerville
10.Pickerington Ponds, Canal Winchester
11.Prairie Oaks, Sycamore Plains Trail, and Darby Bend Lakes, West Jefferson
12.Scioto Audubon, Columbus
13.Sharon Woods, Westerville
14.Slate Run and Slate Run Living Historical Farm, Canal Winchester
15.Three Creeks, Groveport
16.Walnut Woods Groveport
Want to volunteer at one of these parks? Click the link below for more information!
Unknown. (2010). Volunteer Opportunities. Retrieved From: http://parks.columbus.gov/Volunteer.aspx
David J. Nowak, Susan M. Stein, Paula B. Randler, Eric J. Greenfield,
Sara J. Comas, Mary A.Carr, Ralph J. Alig. (June 2010). Sustaining America’s Urban Trees and Forests. Retrieved From: http://www.fs.fed.us/openspace/fote/reports/nrs-62_sustaining_americas_urban.pdf
Greg McPherson, Jim Simpson, Dan Marconett, Paula Peper, Elena Aguaron, Center for Urban Forest Research, Pacific Southwest Research Station. (2011). Urban Forests and Climate Change. Retrieved From: http://www.fs.fed.us/ccrc/topics/urban-forests/
Jay Withgott. Scott Brennan. (2011). Environment: The Science Behind The Stories. San Francisco, CA: Pearson.