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July 2, 2020
Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program
“What a friend we have in a tree, the tree is the symbol of hope, self improvement and what people can do for themselves.”
– Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and founder of the Green Belt Movement
Often when we talk about trees, we speak of the ecological services they provide. From trapping greenhouses gases, to treating runoff, to sustaining habitat for wildlife, there is no shortage of what trees can do to heal and fortify our planet. In addition to the environmental benefits trees provide, the mental, emotional, and physical respite they provide to us humans cannot be underestimated.
These benefits, however, are not equitably distributed across our communities. Did you know that diverse and low-income community members often live in areas with the lowest tree cover? Discriminatory housing practices like redlining helped fuel these inequities. Its damaging effects are still being deeply felt today.
Here are just a few of the ways that trees can improve the quality of life in our communities:
Source: Vibrant Cities Lab
I encourage you to take time to appreciate the trees in your backyard, neighborhood, parks and streets this weekend. In what ways do these trees benefit you? How can we work to ensure that the communities we serve have equitable access to these benefits? If you are looking to add to your watch list, you can also check out these unbeleafably good videos and documentaries:
Senior Green Infrastructure Projects Manager
(202) 670 7406
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