By Scott Wiener
Trees matter. Whether in urban settings, rural areas, or remote wilderness in the Sierras or Brazil, trees are essential to our environment, economy, and quality of life. Trees are our world’s lungs, absorbing carbon dioxide, emitting oxygen, and reducing drought and climate change. They reduce erosion and provide habitat for all manner of birds, insects, and other animals. They provide shade and cooling in a warming world. Without them, eco-systems suffer, leading to negative health and economic impacts.
While urban forests are not in the same ecological league as the vast and threatened boreal forests to the north and rain forests to the south, they matter. Having adequate and healthy trees in a community makes positive contributions in all sorts of ways. Indeed, recent studies have shown that communities with more trees and other greenery are healthier, calmer, and more productive.
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