Boise Paper’s Project Up Event at Lindsay Street Park

Lindsay Street Park_Photo 3

Before: Green space is untended and neglected.

Minutes west of Downtown Atlanta sits the English Avenue Neighborhood. This neighborhood has seen its share of tough years as the area with the highest crime rate in the city of Atlanta. The neighborhood lacks numerous community resources, including the absence of a single outdoor park… until now. And residents are hoping that their new park could make all the difference.

Lindsay Street Park_Photo 5

Before: The area is neglected and full of pollution.

I recently attended one of the events that helped make the Lindsay Street Park possible: Boise Paper’s Project Up planting event. It was a wonderful experience. What was once a neglected and polluted space has transformed into a luscious green sanctuary in the center of one of the most precarious areas of the state.

We planted trees and shrubs in the park while children played on brand new playground equipment, installed just a few days before the event. (check out this video of them playing) Joyful parents looked on with pride, pausing every so often to tell us how much this park meant to the community.

Playground_After

After: Completed Lindsay Street Park playground.

As we planted I kept thinking about the upcoming Partners in Community Forestry Conference and how the Lindsay Street Park Project was a nice example of the great things that happen when partners come together. The park itself is the culmination of a three year process led by The Conservation Fund in partnership with Trees Atlanta, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, English Avenue Neighborhood Association and over 15 other nonprofit organizations, each playing a key role in the process.

The Lindsay Street Park Project is a fine example of a model that can be replicated in other underserved communities that face similar issues. Check out our Facebook album to see more photos of the transformation.

8 Great Benefits of Becoming a Tree Campus USA – Straight from the mouths of other campuses

Earning Tree Campus USA certification provides multiple benefits, both to the school that receives it and the community that supports it. But don’t take our word for it. Below are insights from students, faculty and employees whose campuses are currently part of the program.

1 | Penn State University – Behrend

“Penn State Behrend is a beautiful wooded campus, and I am very proud of the Tree Campus USA designation. Over the past three years, we have added approximately 150 trees to our campus and 100 more in Harborcreek Township, and this designation will allow us to apply for grant funds to plant even more trees.” – Ann Quinn, Director of Greener Behrend, an outreach effort of the college’s School of Science

2 | SUNY – Cortland

“For the campus, it shows a commitment to creating an urban forest that is healthy, and it recognizes the urban forest as being important for human health, energy conservation, pollution mitigation and water conservation too.” – Steven Broyles, Professor of Biological Sciences

One of Prof. Broyles’ students, Elizabeth Fabozzi, also stated, “Being recognized as a tree campus is a huge honor in the tree conserving and preserving community. It demonstrates how the College cares about all of its biotic components, especially the trees.”

3 | Vasser University

“Applying for Tree Campus USA designation through the Arbor Day Foundation was a great way to give legitimacy to our sustainable landscaping efforts and support the historic legacy of our trees.” – Alistair Hall, Assistant for Sustainability Activities

4 | Appalachian State University

“This certification demonstrates Appalachian’s commitment to environmental aspects of sustainability.” – Mike Madritich, Associate Professor of Biology and member of the university’s certification team

5 | Stetson University

“The landscape is much more than a welcome mat for Stetson. It also provides places suitable for informal gatherings, outdoor class sessions, play and quiet reflection. Additionally, because the campus landscape is the only part of the university that some local citizens and visitors see, it should be one that reflects the mission and values we promote.” – Cynthia Bennington, Ph.D., Professor of Biology

6 | Georgia Tech University

“The Tree Campus USA certification highlights all the things we are doing that otherwise people would not know about. A beautiful tree canopy helps in recruiting students and faculty. Once they see the peaceful environment, they want to come in and know more about what we have [on campus].” – Hyacinth Ide, Associate Director of Landscape Services

7 | Clayton State University

“You don’t have to spend more than five seconds on this campus to know that trees are who we are. Trees define us. We want to make sure this campus is not just beautiful today, but beautiful forever.” – Dr. Thomas Hynes, Clayton State President

8 | California State University – Channel Islands

“This recognition reflects the commitment of CI’s entire campus community, which cares about making our environment stunning and sustainable. Not only do our outdoor spaces make CI a desirable place to live, learn, work and play, but they also provide a valuable opportunity for learning about conserving and replenishing the resources we use.” – Dave Chakraborty, Associate Vice President for Operations, Planning & Construction

Learn more about the Tree Campus USA program here or check out the full list of certified schools. Did your school make the list?

Celebrating Global Tiger Day: July 29

Today – July 29 – is Global Tiger Day, a day for appreciating and celebrating all species of tigers worldwide. Unfortunately, this also means realizing their great decline in numbers due to poaching, habitat loss, and conflicts.

Tigers recline in their natural habitat. Image via National Geographic; photo credit: Steve Winter.

Tigers recline in their natural habitat. Image via National Geographic; photo credit: Steve Winter.

Did you know…trees and tigers go hand-in-hand. A majority of tigers’ natural habitats are made up of forests. Tropical, evergreen, temperate and snow-covered hardwood forests, along with mangrove swamps, are all home to various species of tiger.

Celebrate these beautiful creatures on Global Tiger Day — and every day — by raising awareness and supporting the preservation of their habitats.

Five facts about tigers from our friends at the World Wildlife Fund:

Tiger Ranges

This map shows the shrinking global range of tigers. Map copyright World Wildlife Fund.

1. In the last century alone, tigers have lost 93% of their historic range.

2. Continued large-scale habitat destruction and decimation of prey populations are the major long-term threats to the continued existence of tigers in the wild.3. Tiger habitat decreased by 45% in the last 10 years.

4. All tigers need dense vegetation, the presence of large ungulate prey, and access to water to be able to survive.

5. Tigers are found in a wide range of habitats in Asia and the Russian Far East, in increasingly fragmented and isolated populations.

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Coe Roberts is an Electronic Communication Specialist at the Arbor Day Foundation.