March   | 2018
Signs of Spring
 This month on American Grove we discuss our immediate ability to implement green infrastructure in our own communities. We have the power to improve our local urban forests through practice and policy. This can be as simple as staying up to date with urban forestry research or volunteering with a local organization.You have limitless potential to improve the success, quantity, and quality of local green spaces. With the goal of improved urban forestry, you can create a spark of inspiration throughout your community. 
 
-Morgan Garner, American Grove Administrator 

Green Infrastructure Center (GIC)
Do you know the real definition of green infrastructure?  According to McDonald, Benedict, and O'Conner (2005), green infrastructure is made up of the interconnected network of waterways, wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitats, and other natural areas; greenways, parks, and other conservation lands; working farms, ranches and forests; and wilderness and other open spaces that support native species, maintain natural ecological processes, sustain air and water resources and contribute to health and quality of life." The Green Infrastructure Center (GIC), led by director Karen Firehock, describes increased livability and community health by weaving green into our cities in creative new ways.  Resources found on the GIC website promote various strategies that combine the benefits of our urban forests with ample opportunities for community engagement and growth. By i ntegrating natural and human environments, we can  conserve our critical ecological systems along with creating healthier communities, all while receiving economic returns.  Let us take every day to celebrate the prosperity provided to us by our carbon sequestering allies!  Visit the Green Infrastructure Center website here.

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The Forest and the City
Cecil Konijnendijk gave a powerful talk at 2017's Partners in Community Forestry Conference. Since then we have been patiently waiting for the release of his new resource 
The Forest and The City.  Konijnendijk provides modern day examples of successful collaborative projects between society and nature from around the globe.This book uses thriving forested cities to aid in his comprehensive study of nature's role on humanity. His evidence is a testimony to the importance of implementing policies aimed at increasing the interaction of ecosystems. 

The vitality of trees and accompanying green spaces help the reader better understand of the mutually beneficial relationship of society and nature. Social development goes hand in hand with the improvement and availability of local green infrastructure.This book will help readers understand our ever-evolving awareness of the importance of cohabitation with nature. The Forest and the City is a must-read for those interested in learning various strategies of urban sustainability.
His book can be purchased here.
 
National Canopy Coverage

The purpose of mulching is to promote the cycling of water, air,  and nutrients through soil to the underlying root system. Mulch should not too thick; about 3 inches thick is the optimal thickness. Mulch applied too thick can create a haven for pests and disease. Mulch can maintain ample amounts of water and therefore should not be in contact with the base of the tree. If the trunk of the tree is exposed to constant moisture, rotting is likely to occur. Before applying new mulch  cultivate preexisting material by using a tool such as a rake or a pitchfork. Turning mulch will disaggregate clumps that have prevented infiltration.  Use a mulch calculator to ensure you are purchasing an ample amount of mulch. If you would like to share any other tree care tips on our blog it would be 'mulch' appreciated!

Goats are Green

Farm animals are pros at tackling invasive species. Goats are nature's green garbage disposals, capable of eating 10 pounds of leaf litter a day.  Goats will demolish poison ivy, English ivy, and Chinese privet. There are very few plants that will upset the stomach of these hollow-horned mammals. Vegetation taller than breast height may be out of reach for these little animals. However, if hungry enough, goats will climb shrubbery in attempt to bend and knock down taller greens. This lawn care service requires no fossil fuels (besides goat transportation) and provides a free natural fertilizing service. Unfortunately, it is risky to hire these workers during the spring because they will eat any and all new growth! This method is something to think about for next season.

Please share your most successful and safest practices for remov ing invasive species on AmericanGrove.org.

Is Wood Sustainable?

Matt Lee writes, "There is argument over whether wood is a responsible option when designing with sustainability in mind. The negativity surrounding the use of wood mainly stems from the damage to the environment during the harvesting process, which brings into question whether this is a sustainable material. The reality is the irresponsible harvesting of wood is not sustainable and will lead to damage that is not easily reversible. However, the wood itself is sustainable in the sense that trees may be replanted."
There are four factors to consider when it comes to the responsibility of using wood in modern construction... To see what those factors are, visit our  national blog to view the article written by Matt Lee.
Immortalize your knowledge and experiences on AmericanGrove. Our online community is dedicated to providing its members with the best resources to promote the growth of our nation's urban forest. To read more about urban canopies or interact with fellow tree fanatics visit us at AmericanGrove.org