Short and Sweet: Why Urban Forests?

Although trees may not look like money-making machines, the benefits and services that they provide to us make them an extremely valuable, and measurable resource! Ecosystems and trees provide us with three different kinds of service values: social, economic, and environmental benefits. When we consider all of these, it’s no wonder why we need to protect and enhance our urban forest cover and support projects like Forêt Capitale Forest’s goal to plant 1 million trees. 

To get into the specifics of it, we can either realise the value of forests in terms of use-values, like forestry products, or non-use values, like the psychological and social benefits that come from interacting with them. For example, our Food Forests at the Just Food Community farm has both! We get to harvest, share and enjoy all the wonderful organic foods that we produce at the farm, and, at the same time, we get to share, learn, and experience the forest as a social and educational tool. It’s not only people that benefit from urban forests, but many other creatures like birds and bugs get to enjoy these spaces too.

Already convinced that urban forests are super cool? There’s one more way urban forests help out, they’re called supporting and regulating services. These ones are a little harder to notice, but arguably the most important! Have you ever noticed the crisp, cool air when on a morning walk in the forest, or how crystal clear streams run through our neighbourhoods? Trees help out with these kinds of things by helping cycle air and water through the environment. At the same time, they help to keep the temperature down on hot days, support our shorelines and healthy soils, and provide critical habitat to the species we love. 

You can read more about how our urban forests help to support our lives at these links. Feel free to share any articles you find interesting with us too! 

Green Infrastructure Ontario: Benefits of the Urban Forest in a municipal context

Tree Canada: Benefits of Urban Forests

One Tree Planted: What Is Urban Forestry? 

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