A Gift for Your Community

Cottonwood tree in yard

Cottonwood tree in private yard

If you wanted to plant trees that would grow well in your community, how would you know what trees to plant?

If you found some trees that would grow well in your community, how would you know which ones would grow best in different places? Which would like being along sidewalks and medians? Which would grow best in playgrounds? Which would flourish in the yards of private homes?

It would be hard to know any of that information if you didn’t have help. One community figured out how to do that with the help of The Nature Conservancy, whose mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico worked with The Nature Conservancy to get a list of climate-ready trees specifically designed for different places in that city. Albuquerque needed more trees to help it be more comfortable and more healthy.

Sarah Hurteau, urban conservation director for The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico, explained that “trees provide shade, cool temperatures, clean our air and improve our health.”

She said the climate-ready tree list that The Nature Conservancy designed for Albuquerque will help the city to begin planting 100,000 trees over the next 10 years in the places where certain kinds of trees will grow and flourish the best.

The tree research was based from a framework developed by McPherson et al. It was published in 2018 in the scientific journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. If you want to see the full list of trees, visit nature.org/newmexicotrees.

If you are a student or a teacher looking for a healthy, interesting project for all the students in your class, maybe you could go to The Nature Conservancy website at https://www.nature.org/en-us. There, you could find out if they can help you learn more about what trees would grow best in your community. Then maybe you could talk with a city representative to see if the city would like to work with you on a project to bring more trees to your city that would grow and flourish there.

If you got involved in a project like that, for years afterwards you could travel around your town or city and let your family and friends know that you helped to plant some of those trees. It would be a great way to help your community stay healthier and be more beautiful for decades to come.

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