City Trees

March/April 2011

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Natural Intersections: Climate Change Action Plans and Urban Forestry by Justin Freedman, M.S., Senior Environmental Scientist and ISA Certified Arborist, Metric Engineering, Inc., Miami, Florida W orld leaders recently gathered in Cancun, Mexico to discuss climate change from a global perspective, and like at the Copenhagen meeting in 2009, leaders made minimal progress towards top-down solutions. Meanwhile, a growing number of municipalities are developing their own Climate Change Action Plans to cre- ate bottom-up solutions. Climate Change Action Plans can take many forms and vary in their development and format; however, all plans share the same overall goal: to begin to change their community’s behaviors in ways that will reduce their overall impact on the climate. As municipal arborists and urban foresters well know, the urban forest sequesters and stores carbon dioxide (as well as other greenhouse gasses and air pollutants) from the atmosphere. Thus, urban forestry plays a key role in the development of a Climate Change Action Plan. Municipal arborists and urban foresters should get involved early in the creation of this plan. As an environmental scientist specializing in urban for- estry and marine biology in southern Florida, I consult for municipal and state agencies on a variety of habitats that sequester and store carbon. I know from my clients Landscaping with trees enhances the new Dania Beach Library in Broward County, Florida. In the foreground are pigeon plum (Coccoloba diversifolia), pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelinii), and Japanese fern tree (Filicium decipiens). In the background one can see a preserved live oak (Quercus virginiana). Photo by Justin Freedman 24 City Trees

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