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Special Issue of Cities and the Environment Features Studies on Urban Forestry and MillionTreesNYC Initiative

New York, NY, March 21, 2011 - On-line access to the latest urban ecology science is available in  a special issue of Cities and the Environment (CATE). The issue features peer-reviewed articles and poster abstracts resulting from last year’s MillionTreesNYC, Green Infrastructure and Urban Ecology Symposium, and includes topics ranging from urban pollinator communities to civic engagement in urban forestry.

CATE is published in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service with support from Loyola Marymount University and Boston College. The journal publishes peer-reviewed scholarship on urban ecology research and urban ecology education. The January 2011 special issue featuring the results of the MillionTreesNYC Research Symposium can be accessed online at: http://www.catejournal.org/.

“As the United States population becomes increasingly urban, it is important to understand the benefits provided by urban ecosystems and also the challenges faced by environmental managers in maintaining these resources,” said Erika Svendsen, a research social scientist with the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station. “On-line access to MillionTreesNYC Research Symposium results is a tremendous tool that will enhance our understanding of the urban environment.”

MillionTreesNYC is a citywide, public-private initiative between the City of New York/Parks & Recreation and New York Restoration Project, with an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across New York City’s five boroughs by 2017.  Since MillionTreesNYC was launched in October 2007, more than 430,000 trees have been planted. For more information on MillionTreesNYC is available at: www.milliontreesnyc.org.

The special issue of CATE examines a variety of topics, including public reactions to new street tree plantings, the effect of the MillionTreesNYC reforestation effort on the structure and functioning of the city’s ecosystems, New York City as a case study for strategies that can be applied broadly to other municipalities, street tree mortality, and prioritization of planting locations to increase urban tree canopy. The issue includes papers featuring other cities such as engaging Chicago residents in climate change action.

“Over the past few years, MillionTreesNYC has hosted presentations on urban tree canopy and assessment, collaborated on research proposals, provided feedback to our colleagues on current research, convened workshops and field trips and developed a research agenda,” according to Jacqueline Lu, Director of Research & Analysis at the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. “Our primary motivation is to improve communication between researchers and practitioners, and leverage this ambitious tree-planting initiative as an opportunity to learn more about our urban ecosystem.”

The MillionTreesNYC Research Symposium was organized by the MillionTreesNYC Subcommittee on Research and Evaluation, which includes members from the New School, Cornell University, New York University, Sound Science, New York Restoration Project, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and the NYC Urban Field Station.  The USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation jointly operate the New York City Urban Field Station, which is both a physical place to conduct research and a network of relationships among a growing number of scientists, practitioners, university collaborators and facilities focused on urban ecology.

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. The mission of the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station is to improve people’s lives and help sustain the natural resources in the Northeast and Midwest through leading-edge science and effective information delivery.

The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The mission of the Forest Service's Northern Research Station is to improve people’s lives and help sustain the natural resources in the Northeast and Midwest through leading-edge science and effective information delivery.

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/.

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Last modified: March 21, 2011