Article contributed by SLELO staff- Robert Smith
Urban forests provide many economic, social, and environmental benefits to urban communities. These range from conserving energy, filtering air and water, increasing property values to just making a walk a more pleasant experience.
With all these benefits comes responsibility. As managers of the urban forest, we must be aware of the effects that invasive pests, pathogens, and climate change may have on our forest and how we can make these forests more resilient. To do this, SLELO PRISM has established the Urban Forest Sustainability Initiative.
This initiative involves visiting five cities (starting with the largest populations) each year for a period of three years. We have or will be providing a presentation, an urban forest sustainability guide, and some funds to reimburse the purchase of native trees to each of these communities.
Both the presentation and guide emphasize resilience through increased tree species diversity, planting climate adaptable trees, implementing proper pest management, planting the right trees in the right places, and selecting native trees. Learn more about the Urban Forest Sustainability Initiative.