Another study finds connection between trees and crime reduction

Last year, we pointed to research in Baltimore City and County linking tree canopy with reductions in crime.

treesNow, the journal Landscape and Urban Planning and Temple University have released similar findings for Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Both studies cut against the conventional wisdom in a sense, as many intuit that shade from urban trees makes crime harder to detect.

Says Jeremy Mennis, associate professor of geography and urban studies at Temple: “There is a longstanding principle, particularly in urban planning, that you don’t want a high level of vegetation, because it abets crime by either shielding the criminal activity or allowing the criminal to escape.”

But in both cases, the findings indicated the increased presence of grass, trees and shrubs correlated with lower levels of robberies and assaults, along with other violent and property crimes.

The Temple study established controls for other factors linked to crime, including poverty rates, educational attainment and population density.

Adds Mennis: it may not be the greenery itself as much as the increased social interaction and public supervision that deflects criminal activity.

Increased community pride and connectivity join a long list of already ample urban forestry benefits.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service.

Two fall Tree Campus USA events down, three left to go

Earlier this month, the Foundation was in Boulder, where students and staff at the University of Colorado experienced the challenges and opportunities of urban forestry first-hand, planting 40 laurel oaks along the interface between the campus and a major city thoroughfare.

On Monday, we were in the Valley Glen neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley to plant trees at Los Angeles Valley College, the first community college and first Southern California institution to participate in the Tree Campus USA program.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, or AASHE, helped with the event, which resulted in 30 new trees on the north mall of the urban campus.

The Foundation will be in Dover, Delaware, for a tree planting at Delaware State University on Tuesday, October 30. LaSalle University in Philadelphia will plant trees on November 1, and Georgia State University in Atlanta will hold their event November 10.

These events are terrific way for current or future Tree Campus USA participants to step up their commitment to conservation and give service-minded students a chance to roll up their sleeves and do something positive for the campus community. We appreciate having Toyota as a continued partner in our effort to grow the next generation of environmental stewards.

We hope, too, that these events will inspire even more colleges and universities to take the steps needed to qualify for Tree Campus USA as we begin accepting applications for 2012.

Information on First-year applications and recertifications is available here.

We put this video about the University of Pennsylvania together after an event there in 2010.

Midwestern states offer a variety of Arbor Day activities, from Curious George reading to community tree planting

(Ed. Note: 24 states celebrate Arbor Day on the last Friday in April, the same date as National Arbor Day, which this year falls on the 27th. This week, we’ll be highlighting what a variety of regions are doing to prepare for the tree-planting holiday. Today, we will feature Midwest states; Monday was New England; Tuesday was the Mid-Atlantic; Wednesday was Western states; and Friday the Great Plains.)

Illinois: 

The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois is hosting a variety of activities for Arbor Day 2012.  The beloved children’s character, Curious George, kicks off the Arboretum’s Arbor Day festivities. Children can meet Curious George, hear the story Curious George Plants a Tree and help George plant a tree.

In celebration of Arbor Day, the Morton Arboretum will also be tagging several thousand trees around the City of Chicago and seven communities (Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Lisle, and Naperville) with green value tags, proclaiming their environmental worth in dollars. You can find out more about this project and the value of trees here. Additional Arbor Day activities can be found here.

Arbor Day Foundation members have helped plant more than 266,670 trees across the state last year.

The State of Illinois is currently home to 188 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in Illinois is Chicago, population 2,746,590; the smallest is Steward, population 271.

Indiana: 

The Indianapolis Power & Light Company recognizes Arbor Day 2012 by giving away 1,000 free trees as part of the Indy Free Tree program. The Indy Free Tree program aims to promote stewardship of the environment as well as to educate the public about the importance of trees, caring for trees and planting the “Right Tree in the Right Place” so as not to interfere with power lines.

Arbor Day Foundation members have helped plant more than 279,584 trees across the state last year. If you’re interested in Arbor Day activities or tree planting volunteer opportunities in your area, please visit the arbordaynow.org Volunteer Center.

The State of Indiana is currently home to 67 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in Indiana is Indianapolis, population 860,454; the smallest is Mount Ayr, population 130.

Michigan:

Join Michigan’s Go Green Youth Challenge to honor Arbor Day this year. According to the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance website, the Go Green Youth Challenge is a statewide initiative to engage youth in environmental stewardship, community development and service-learning by participating in a campaign to plant trees in Michigan.

Photo Credit: ThePureBar.com

Youth (K-12) are challenged to collect coins as an individual, classroom or club. The coins collected will directly fund community tree plantings. Tree planting sites include school yards, cities and towns and conservation areas such as stream bank stabilization and habitat restoration.  Check for your or other community Arbor Day celebrations in Michigan here.

Arbor Day Foundation members have helped plant more than 405,923 trees across the state last year. The State of Michigan is currently home to 120 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in Michigan is Detroit, population 850,000; the smallest is Richland, population 725.

Minnesota:

Minnesota’s 2012 Arbor Month theme is “Creating a Healthy Community Forest.” The idea is to encourage planting a wide variety of native trees to create a diverse community forest that is more resilient to large-scale devastation by tree pests. To help diversify community forests, the DNR created A Homeowner’s Guide to Creating a Healthy Yard. You can download the guide here.

You can visit Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources website to find more activity suggestions for community Arbor Day Celebrations throughout the state.

Arbor Day Foundation members have helped plant more than 225,665 trees across the state last year. The State of Minnesota is currently home to 96 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in Minnesota is Minneapolis, population 372,833; the smallest is Sunfish Lake, population 525.

Ohio: 

Various Ohio communities are honoring Arbor Day with tree giveaways, nature walks and informational sessions on how to be responsible stewards of the earth.  Wilberforce University students and staff celebrated Arbor Day early on April 18, by planting 50 trees on campus. The trees were supplied by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota.

Arbor Day Foundation members have helped plant more than 438,024 trees across Ohio last year. If you’re interested in Arbor Day activities or tree planting volunteer opportunities in your area, please visit the arbordaynow.org Volunteer Center.

The State of Ohio is currently home to 244 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in Ohio is Columbus, population 769,360; the smallest is Put-In-Bay, population 128.

Pennsylvania:

Communities in Pennsylvania are celebrating Arbor Day 2012 with festivals, tree giveaways, arborist demonstrations and tree tours.

Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Westchester will be showcasing its methods of combating the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive beetle species that threatens the survival of Pennsylvania’s ash trees. The city of Westchester will be presenting an Emerald Ash Borer management plan and demonstrating how property owners can combat the insect that they hope others communities will embrace and implement.

Arbor Day Foundation members have helped plant more than 391,469 trees across the state last year. If you’re interested in Arbor Day activities or tree planting volunteer opportunities in your area, please visit the arbordaynow.org Volunteer Center.

The State of Pennsylvania is currently home to 108 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in Pennsylvania is Philadelphia, population 1,540,539; the smallest is Eagles Mere, population 150.