Honoring the Earth…Trees!

photo courtesy Trees Atlanta

 

I think that I shall never see

A Poem as Lovely as a tree.

~ Joyce Kilmer

 

Tree Facts from https://onetreeplanted.org

80% of the world’s forests are already destroyed

80,000 acres of forests disappear from the earth every day!

Removing trees deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day and holds heat at night.  This disruption leads to more extreme temperature swings that can be harmful to plants and animals.

Without tree roots to anchor the soil and with increased exposure to sun, the soil can dry out, leading to problems like increased flooding and inability to farm.  The WWF states that a third of the world’s arable land has been lost to deforestation since 1960.  Cash crops planted after clear cutting or burning – like soy, coffee, and palm oil – can exacerbate soil erosion because their roots can not hold unto the soil the way trees can.

80% of the world’s terrestrial plants and animals live in forests and are losing their habitats to deforestation. Loss of habitat can lead to species extinction. This is not only a biodiversity tragedy but also has negative consequences for medicinal research and local populations who rely on the animals and plants in the forests for hunting and medicine.

28,000 species are expected to become extinct by the next 25 years due to deforestation.

You may wonder why I am telling you all these tree facts.  Atlanta, known for it’s gorgeous tree canopy has undergone an explosion of development and a large number of trees have been lost. The City recognizes that trees matter… they protect biodiversity, help manage stormwater, cool city streets by 2 to 4 degrees F, increase property values, and trees can filter up to a third of the fine particle pollutants within 300 yards.

City of  Atlanta is re-writing it’s Tree Protection Ordinance (TPO). This ordinance’s intent and purpose is to protect and preserve as many trees and ecological assets and services as possible, prohibit loss of high value habitat and areas of high biodiversity, balance city development goals: affordability, mobility, and growth, implement a clear and consistent process, ensure there are equitable distribution of benefits and costs for all residents, and align the TPO with other environmental and development requirements adopted within the City.

This City Planning process includes hosting public hearings, inviting public comments which are responded to and posted, and the feedback will be incorporated into ordinance language for public to view and provide input.  Comment period is open until July 17th.  If you want to get involved and provide input, learn more at atlantaga.gov/government/departments/city-planning and follow on social media at @ATLPlanning .

Sources: Onetreeplanted

Protecting our Natural Identity

Rewriting the Tree Protection Ordinance

Department of City Planning – June 2019 Presentation

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