Environment

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Civic Forestry to Ease Energy Burden

April 29, 2008 05:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Urban areas big and small are initiating tree-planting programs to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, but a few glitches remain.

30-Second Summary

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According to The Washington Post, mayors of major cities around the United States have vowed to plant “millions of trees in the coming years,” to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. But success will be difficult; since 1972, three-dozen American cities have lost a quarter of their tree cover, and the United States is reportedly missing 600 million of its trees.

On Earth Day, the Energy Conservation through Trees Act was introduced by Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif. The Act will use tree planting to reduce carbon emissions caused by the heating and cooling of homes, according to the American Forests organization.

Big cities like Los Angeles and New York have received attention for their million-tree plans, but smaller urban areas, such as Horn Lake, Mississippi and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, are also doing their part to plant trees and educate residents on the benefits of green living.

Tree planting is not favored by all urbanites, however. In New York, forester Arthur Simpson has been frustrated by some residents’ aversion to having trees planted in their immediate vicinity. The mindset is “you can’t tell us we have to have it,” said Simpson in a New York Times article.

Some cities have been giving away trees and seedlings to encourage residents to participate in urban forestry, but many times, the freebies either die from lack of care or are simply thrown away, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Poor neighborhoods have largely been left out of the green movement, according to an article in the Seattle Times. Plans like urban tree planting will not fully succeed unless all incomes are given a real opportunity to participate, said the article.

Headline Links: Urban tree planting taking off

Background Links: New act encourages urban forestry

Related Links: Problems associated with city trees

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