Four Urban Forest Initiatives


Preserving ash genes in New York

New York State has been training volunteers to collect ash seeds since 2009 following the creation of the USDA’s Ash Genetic Resources Conservation Plan. Volunteer seed collectors were trained and seed has been added to 150 collections. This was one of the most successful statewide efforts to mobilize community, and the program is replicable in other areas like Ontario. This could be an opportunity to preserve a fraction of the genetics of our ash populations before they’re lost for good. Read more here. Natural Resources Canada is encouraging the collection of ash seeds and would like to see properly collected seeds sent to the National Tree Seed Centre. See more info here. The Forest Gene Conservation Association is another great resource for seed conservation in Ontario, read more about them here.

Baltimore’s open access urban forest data

The City of Balitmore, Maryland, has long been the source of important socio-ecological information through their long-term Baltimore Ecosystem Study. The data obtainted through this study has been used for research in urban ecology and the project has shared quite a bit of data on their urban forests, including canopy cover and historical geography of urban forestry and roadside tree planting in Baltimore. See their canopy cover data here.

Well-treed watersheds have healthier children

A study out of the University of Vermont found that children living in watersheds with more trees are less likely to experience diarrheal disease, the second leading cause of death for children under the age of five. Read more here.

Creating a new forest in an urban space

A privately-funded man-made urban forest brings greenery to Bangkok, Thailand.