LightRocket via Getty Images
But one group of people barely benefited.
DOUGBERRY via Getty Images
As we celebrate National Tree Day, it's clear we need to take a more strategic approach to maintaining and improving our urban forests.
We've all taken a walk in nature and experienced the relaxing and often regenerating, healing impact it can have on us, right?
Halfpoint via Getty Images
June 7 was Clean Air Day. Part of Canadian Environment Week, this special day aims to drive awareness about air quality. The negative impacts of air pollution on our health are now well-known. In fact, tens of thousands of Canadians suffer from respiratory problems related to and worsened by air pollution.
Andrea Kamal via Getty Images
Spring is a great time to think about planting a new tree. There are many good reasons: trees provide shade in the summer and wind protection in the winter, which keeps your house warm. The presence of trees can also increase the curb appeal and value of your property.
The hills are indeed alive! Ground-breaking research into trees and plants is revealing that they are much more complex and intelligent than we originally thought. Trees and plants can talk to each other, see, share food and even go to war.
Danita Delimont via Getty Images
You have probably bought forest products like lumber for a home reno or notepaper for school supplies and wondered how your purchase affects the forest it came from. You may feel guilty, but you shouldn't if the forest products you buy are harvested sustainably and certified to internationally recognized standards.
John Lund via Getty Images
Moving forward, it's clear we need to take a more strategic approach to maintaining and improving our urban forests at both the provincial and federal level in order to combat climate change and air pollution, urbanization and densification, invasive insects and disease, and the cost of green infrastructure maintenance.
Orchidpoet via Getty Images
You find yourself breathing more deeply, taking in the sharp scent of pine and the sweet mustiness of leaves returning to dust on the forest floor beneath your feet. For a moment, the quiet is broken only by birdsong -- the notes that signalled the absence of predators nearby to generations of your ancestors -- and your pulse rate slows. Some neglected part of you is home, and you realize you've left your worries somewhere between your front door and this moment. This is the power of nature.
Canada is significantly behind other G7 countries in the value we place on urban forests, especially the U.S., where management of urban forests falls under the responsibility of an individual equivalent to a Canadian deputy minister.
anada is a forest nation. About 35 per cent (or roughly 3.48 million square kilometres) of the country is covered by forest. That's an area larger than the size of India! In fact, Canada's forests are bigger than all but five of the world's countries.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ten years ago, World Vision started working with people in Humbo, Ethiopia, to plant trees. The organization funded the project by selling 'carbon offsets' for the roughly 22,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that those trees mop up each year. Before planting began, the region's mountainous terrain had been severely degraded.
I still wasn't fully prepared for what I experienced during my visit last week. I'm a professional forester and I've seen my fair share of forest fires up close. Still, the vastness of this fire and extent of damage in an urban area was sad, sobering and more than a little eerie.
Last year, we exported almost $30 million in fresh-cut trees to the United States and another $32.6 million in trees to the rest of the world. When combining the $60+ million that Canadians spent on real trees last year, it all adds up to a $125 million contribution to our rural economy.