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Trees lower crime rates enough that Chicago is investing in them–National Arbor Da

May 16, 2009
10 Blue Spruce
Image by cthoyes via Flickr

It has long been assumed that having a beautiful environment affects our very natures, or nature affects our very beings.  Research studies show that people who ate a brownie off a decorative plate named it higher quality than the one eaten off the paper napkin, even though both brownies were from the same pan.  Other studies have shown that children get better testing scores when their testing environment is soothing and painted in muted colors; the colors vary somewhat by the study.  But it is safe to say that our environment affects our development, as all the early childhood advocates will also attest to.  People heal faster in healthcare settings when their room windows face trees instead of parking lots or walls.  So why assume that our outdoor environment would be any different?

The National Arbor Day Foundation recently reported that trees in urban areas were shown to reduce crime at such a rate that the City of Chicago is poised to invest millions of dollars in planting them.  Seems like a win-win situation to me.  We plant trees and they help clean up the environment and our neighborhoods.

Locally, our neighbors don’t seem to have a lot of respect for trees, and those moving into the “city” from big farmlands routinely cut trees down to make room for their own personal uses, much to the consternation of their neighbors.  Four 20-year old trees have been cut down in our little 0ne-block radius just within the past year to make room for these men’s building projects.

Consumer’s Energy literally had men jumping the fence with a chain saw to illegally enter our yard and cut down trees last fall, and Consumer’s response to cutting down all of my other neighbor’s trees was that it “looked cleaner.”  The groups Consumer’s Energy hired to trim trees just cut them down if it was too much bother to trim them.  Consumer’s Energy is not environmentally friendly with their tree management in our neighborhood.  (All the more reason for me to get the solar panels installed that we are working on building, cut out the energy companies altogether.

Why do I mention this?  Because it seems like there is a huge disconnect between the tree management in large cities, where Chicago is investing $10million in planting trees and our little small town where the trees are cut down regularly, with no regard to their value.  Even in the face of research, Consumer’s Energy continues to chop trees it could trim (based on some uneducated goons’ assessment with a chainsaw in their hands:  “Think we could trim or just take it down?  Well, we got the saw here, let’s just take it out…”   and my neighbors take out trees to make room for more grass or their decks.  So how do we get the message out?  Hopefully by blogs like this one,  blogs that are blogging for a cause like National Arbor Day.  My favorite non-profit is the National Arbor Day, because they promote a healthy environment, for us and our future generations.  What could be better, a non-profit that helps us and our children at the same time and works to better the environment.  Check out the National Arbor Day for yourself and see what you would do to help.  I am continuing to plant trees.

This blog post is part of Zemanta’s “<a href=”http://www.zemanta.com/bloggingforacause/”>Blogging For a Cause</a>” campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care abou

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 16, 2009 9:42 pm

    Thanks for spreading a word about a good cause! I’ve added your vote the Blogging for a cause tally: http://bit.ly/b4cvotes so you can keep track of progress yourself. Now make sure to get your friends blogging as well! We’ll be giving money to top 5 charities, that means you have very good chances at raising money for your cause!

    Jure Cuhalev, Zemanta
    jure@zemanta.com

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