Questions?

Get your tree related questions answered by our knowledgable members!

Post a question or a topic for discussion in the forum below

Urban Forests = Healthy Lives

"A decade of research across diverse disciplines that include social sciences, psychology, forestry and medicine is leading scientists to similar conclusions: Healthy trees are essential for healthy human populations."

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20140412/OPINION/304120010/Urban-forests-share-links-healthy-lives?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1

You need to be a member of American Grove to add comments!

Join American Grove

Email me when people reply –

Replies

  • Sorry about that, I didn't realize! I've pasted the content of the article below: 

    "While generally understood, the health benefits of trees in our communities are under-appreciated by the average American.

    Urban trees filter and retain storm runoff, reduce the stress in our lives, contribute to an environment that promotes exercise and may even help many cities meet state or federal clean-air requirements.

    A decade of research across diverse disciplines that include social sciences, psychology, forestry and medicine is leading scientists to similar conclusions: Healthy trees are essential for healthy human populations.

    Dr. Arthur M. Wendel, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, plays a pivotal role linking human health and urban forests, largely by connecting trees and exercise. Physical inactivity, he says, is one of the top hidden causes of death in the nation today.

    Wendel, who speaks at national conferences about trees and human health, believes most Americans are overweight and lack opportunities for daily exercise.

    Most U.S. cities do not adequately accommodate the needs of pedestrians, Wendel says. Accessible facilities like green spaces with trees and walking trails promote exercise, he says, and more of them would help Americans stay healthy while lowering health care costs.

    Furthermore, says Kathleen Wolf, a research social scientist at the University of Washington, urban open spaces and parks provide us welcome relief in surprising social and psychological ways. Parents with green views report using reasoning more often in conflicts with their children and physical violence less often in conflicts with their partners.

    Another study, Wolf says, shows extended walks in nature increase immune function and reduce levels of cortisol, a stress indicator. Teens and high school students also benefit from healthy urban parks and forests, in some cases experiencing better test scores, lower occurrences of criminal behavior and higher graduation rates.

    And child advocate Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods,” asserts that children with regular opportunities to explore the outdoors are less likely to experience depression and attention disorders.

    Geoffrey Donovan, a scientist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland, studies the presence of tree cover and its effects on the human population. Using satellite images to compare tree cover around the homes of more than 5,000 women who gave birth in Portland over a two-year period, Donovan found pregnant women living in homes graced by more trees were significantly less likely to deliver under-weight babies.

    Conversely, in another study, Donovan concluded that the loss of trees to insects like the emerald ash borer is associated with increased death from cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-related illness in local populations.

    Given the consensus among these and other studies about trees and human health, one might expect funding for city tree programs across the state and nation to receive high priority. While this isn’t the case, we hope for continued collaboration and teamwork among researchers, businesses, government and nonprofit groups in supporting tree planting, green space conservation and other programs.

    For arborists, residents, planners or city staff members looking to make a difference, it’s well worth remembering that a properly managed, healthy urban forest is money well spent – and a good indicator of a healthy community."

  • Unfortunately the linked article requires a subscription. If possible, please post the content of the article or a summary of it.  Thanks.

This reply was deleted.