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Health & Wellness

We Need The Trees and American Forests Is On Our Side

When we see trees, we breathe easier, we relax, we become more peaceful. And those are just the immediate benefits. The long-term benefits from trees are even more astounding. Trees are the most effective, natural way to remove carbon dioxide from the air. A single tree will capture .62 metric tons of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. That’s equivalent to the emissions created by a single 1,500-mile car trip. Did you know that trees are also directly correlated to a fresh, steady water supply? The rivers and streams that run through forests help supply our planet with the water we need. And the trees themselves serve as sponges that absorb water, reinforce the ground and help to reduce excessive flooding. In urban areas, trees help homes and apartments operate more efficiently by creating shade as well as absorbing air pollutants. Trees help to create the balance our planet needs to stay healthy. 

That’s where American Forests comes in. American Forests, founded in 1875, is the oldest conservation nonprofit in the country and has been advocating for the trees since its inception. Its mission is to create, “healthy and resilient forests, from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife.”

Their goal to help save the planet isn’t their only mission, American Forests is also committed to assisting lower-income neighborhoods through its pursuit of social equity. Tree equity is something that is right in front of our noses. Did you know that there are more trees in wealthy neighborhoods than low-income neighborhoods? Zoom out on any satellite map and you can immediately identify the disparity: within cities, green areas are more likely to have high rents, whereas the areas with little to no foliage are often lower-income and even poverty-stricken. By calculating tree equity, American Forests is able to target aid to the areas with the greatest need for trees. 

American Forests worked with Tazo Tea to create TAZO TREE CORP which will “plant and care for trees in targeted neighborhoods in Detroit; Minneapolis; the Bronx; the Bay Area; and Richmond, Virginia.”  American Forests is also creating career pathways for the unemployed. By hiring individuals to help plant, trim and maintain trees, the organization is creating jobs for people in need. Many of these people go on to pursue jobs in landscaping and tree maintenance.

Restoring America’s large forest landscapes is another issue American Forests is tackling head on. The forests of our country face numerous challenges: a changing climate, forest fires, and insect infestations. American Forests is working to repopulate our nation’s forests and over the past 30 years, American Forests has planted more than 65 million trees. Partner organizations, volunteers, sponsors, and donors make this work possible. 

There are so many problems on our planet that trees are the answer to. By reversing the decline in the tree population, American Forests is solving many of these issues one sapling at a time. 

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