The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Benefit of Trees

The USDA Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry has some really go data on the benefits of urban forests. There's a ton of information here, but here is the short list:

- Trees Improve Air Quality
- Trees Reduce Storm Water Runoff and Erosion
- Trees Temper Local Climate
- Trees Conserve Energy
- Trees Are Good for the Economy
- Trees Create Habitat for Plants and Animals
- Trees Improve Health
- Trees Promote Community

In addition, the Urban and Community Forestry Program in New York State partnered with the NY State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in an investigation of the “heat island effect” in New York City and mitigation strategies for lowering temperatures. You can read the summary report here. You can download the entire report in PDF format here.

To give you a brief idea of the cooling effect of a forested area, here are two images from the report:

Notice how the cool areas in Queens correspond with the Ridgewood Reservoir and Forest Park areas. If the parks department goes ahead with plans to remove the forests at the reservoir, the temperature will go up.

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1 comment:

Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Last year I wrote about a NASA Report using the same Landsat data. They used a different color scheme - cooler = blue - but used the same heat wave of August 2002 as a baseline for their study.

The resolution of the images is remarkable, down to the level of a city block. People need to value where they live. Images like these can help people see the connections between caring for trees and their immediate quality of life.