As a PHS devotee, you know how beneficial trees are to our health and happiness. A recent article from The Atlantic online draws our attention to these precious living resources, pointing out that trees improve air quality, reduce temperatures, and lead to increased property values. Trees in urban areas even have a restorative effect on the attention spans of us city-dwellers.
And yet, paradoxically, American cities have not been protecting their tree cover from urban sprawl.
According to a study published in the journal of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, the tree cover in America is steadily declining. This finding was based largely on digital aerial images for at least 1,000 points in 20 large American cities over a set period of time.
These images allowed the researchers to examine the balance between tree coverage and impervious surfaces. (Impervious surfaces refer to roads, buildings, sidewalks, etc.) Since trees are in decline, impervious cover is increasing—leading to the concrete jungle effect. The study found that tree coverage for all 20 cities fell 1.5 percent, with an average annual loss of .37 percent.
Considering how important trees are to our well-being, more needs to be done to protect them. Luckily for us, Plant One Million is fighting the dismaying trend. Check back here tomorrow, because PHS has an exciting announcement concerning our efforts to protect trees!