What Makes You Happy?
I submit investing in our environment begins to answer these questions. Surely, our urban trees and urban forest is on the front line of those investments. It should be noted spending money is only one way to invest in our urban trees; we all have time and talents we can invest in our urban forest. The urban forest provides us with immense environmental benefits and services. These benefits include absorbing carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen to encouraging sustainable transportation. In my opinion, the more valuable benefits urban trees are the benefits that are harder to quantify. These are the social benefits that include community building though planting projects and providing us a place to gather in parks or backyards. The benefits also include the sense of happiness we have when we look at a tree lined street, sit in the shade of a tree on a warm summer day, or pick an apple of a tree.
Urban trees give us a sense of place. This sense of place orients us as to our connection to the earth and our role on it. We are fortunate to have this connection as it makes us more whole as humans. We must respect our urban trees, sit under them often and plant more. It is not by accident that urban forest are in place, much time, talent and treasure have been invested in the urban forest to make it what it is.
The urban forest is our habitat, it is where we live. When we think about the real questions of life we must think about improving our habitat for us and for the ones that will come after us. It is what will make us happy but it is also our duty and is expected of us responsible citizens of our planet.
Taking care of the future by creating a healthy urban forest, you are taking care of the present. Something as small as planting a tree can make you happy.