San Francisco, CA

Plant a tree with San Francisco Parks & Recreation for World Environment Day

Karen Madej

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By Will Elder Public Domain

On June 5th One Tree Planted and San Francisco Parks & Recreation will be partnering to celebrate World Environment Day. Volunteers will meet in Park Presidio and spend the morning planting trees and making the park look beautiful. The event has already sold out but how about holding a tree-planting ceremony in your own backyard?

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a global rallying cry to heal our planet. What will you restore?

Successful restorations of ecosystems

We only need to look at the success of the return of the wolves to Yellowstone and all the wonderful knock-on effects they caused. The wolves fed on the weakest elk who had been eating all the willows and other trees.

With a reduced elk population, the willows, aspen and cottonwood grew back. The lone beaver colony in 1995 had increased to nine by June 2020. Why? Their food source no longer disappearing into the overpopulation of elk's bellies, meant the beavers could flourish.

With more beavers came more dams. With the dams came improved water flow management throughout the year. Coldwater areas for fish to cool down in, during the hot months. The willow trees shaded the ponds and songbirds made their homes in the trees.

The wolves followed their nature. The elk moved around more, to stay alive, instead of staying in one area and stripping it bare. The revived trees and greenery housed food sources such as insects and critters for the birds and hungry bears emerging from hibernation.

The missing link to this successful restoration of the Yellowstone ecosystem happened simply by reintroducing the wolves.

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Photo by Shelby Waltz from Pexels

The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone is only one example of ecosystem restoration, there are many other projects.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is calling on the world to act to resuscitate damaged ecosystems. We know the world is getting sicker, and poverty in the richest cities in the world and climate change are rife. #GenerationRestoration Youth Assembly: Young People & Future of Multilateralism, the Official Youth Task Force official online event runs from Friday 4th June to Friday 11th. You or your teenagers can still register.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.

Restoration is happening all over the world right now. The United States Canadian neighbours are way ahead in the race to save the world in the next ten years. Ontario's Grasslands Stewardship. Forests Ontario's 50 Million Tree Program initiative

The Girl Scout Tree Promise is a pledge to plant five million trees in five years. Girl Scouts all over America will do this by 2026. If you have a girl scout in your family you might enjoy planting a tree and track it on the planting tracker.

In my research, I didn't find a San Francisco Girl Scout Troop. If any parents would like to set up one here's the Join button.

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Screenshot by Author from Tree Equity Score

American Forests point out what every human should know already, trees are essential. Their work includes a Tree Equity Score Pilot Locations. Until today I had no clue specific areas of urbanized locations were redlined by federal funding allocators. Redlined meant few or no trees for those areas. This practice stopped legally in the 1970s. But fewer trees, financial and other services were allocated to the formerly redlined areas of cities.

The redlined areas defined on maps indicated areas populated by people of color. The wealthy greenlined areas of a city map received twice as many trees than the poorer ones and greater trust from financial institutions which qualified them for loans.

In a nutshell, the ranking system used to assess loan risk in the last century parallels the rank order of average percent tree canopy cover today, according to the study.

American Forests want to create Tree Equity with trees in all parts of the city so everyone can benefit from them.

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Screenshot by Author from Tree Equity Score

I think you can see the inequity still in force. The good news is that San Francisco is one of the 100 cities signed up to put right the wrongs. To ensure every neighbourhood reaches a passing Tree Equity Score by 2030. Meaning the neighborhood has enough trees in the right places to serve all people, including the most vulnerable populations. 

American Forests asks you to: Join us in creating Tree Equity. It’s our moral imperative to do so. 

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Passionate about climate change and living a debt-free, sustainable life. Determined to learn how to and build an adobe house or Earthship. The goal is to live off-grid and off the land. Energy for heat and to power electrical devices and appliances will use solar, wind, and hydro-powered electricity. No trees will die to make my home.

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