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Dr Jago Dodson from Griffith University’s Urban Research Program is advocating the creation of many more community gardens in cities saying there will be increased pressure on urban areas to produce food in the future.
“In the context of some of the big challenges we’re facing – challenges about the sustainability of rural & regional agriculture, challenges about drought conditions, changing environmental conditions, questions about global warming’s impact on food supplies across the world & also questions about the sustainability of petroleum, which is one of the key inputs into industrial agricultural systems – those big changes are going to start to motivate more creatively how we produce food in society.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/22/2852294.htm
Dr Dodson has some innovative ideas that I think are really exciting. Judging by Marrickville Council’s support for the latest verge gardening project in Wilga Avenue & the community garden in Denison Road Dulwich Hill, I would imagine Council will also support other community gardens in the LGA. This year they have said they will provide help in-kind such as removing cement to facilitate such projects & that there are a number of suitable places for community gardens in the LGA. Access to water is the main issue if the gardens are not on the verges out front.
I predict community gardens will be as popular as book clubs in the not too distant future & as is with Book Clubs, only limited places are available so it pays to be involved from the beginning.
The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health published research from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam showed that living less than 1km (0.62miles) from a green space had a major impact in lowering the incidence of major physical disease & mental ill-health.
Professor Barbara Maher of the Lancaster Environment Centre said, “The study confirmed that green spaces create oases of improved health around them especially for children.” She said, “At least part of this ‘oasis’ effect probably reflects changes in air quality.”
More proof that a good-sized street tree out front does more than beautify, raise property values & reduce your power costs for heating & cooling. Street trees also remove up to 60% of street level particulate matter such as dust, smoke, ash & the sooty bi-product from car & truck exhausts that we would generally filter through our lungs & which cause asthma & other respiratory illnesses. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8307024.stm
A recent study found tripling the number of street trees could reduce asthma among children by 25 percent. Researchers from Columbia University in the US found rates of asthma fell by a ¼ when there were around 350 more trees in a square kilometre. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/05May/Pages/Asthmarisklowinleafysuburbs.asp
The research found that children are less likely to develop asthma if they live in tree-lined streets, particularly in areas with more street trees. Here, I think they mean nice big trees with a canopy, not the hacked variety that are so prevalent in Marrickville LGA.
Part of the aims of New York City’s Million Tree Program is to reduce the incidence of respiratory illness as well as improve the overall mental & physical health of its residents. They also believe in global warming & in 2005, New York tallied its CO2 emissions & found they were approximately 1% of US totals & less than 1/3 of the average US per capita level. 79% CO2 came from buildings. They believe their emissions are so low because there is a heavy reliance on cycling & public transport use. They still to reduce their CO2 emissions by a further 33%. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2007/2007-04-11-03.asp
A short, succinct article from Real Estate Agents about the monetary worth of trees on your property, which says, “mature trees & a well-landscaped yard can improve your home’s value by 10-25%.”
Every time I mention this to others I watch the disbelief on their faces, yet this estimate is a number I come across repeatedly in research & articles about the value of trees.
Try looking in the local community papers in the Real Estate section. If there is a street tree in front of the property, the photographer always includes a branch or leaves from the tree in the photo of the property. They do this because the sight of trees has a subconscious effect on us. When we see leafy green, we get a feeling of peace & safety even if we are not directly aware of this. Leafy green means good place to rear children, safety & happiness. Not to many of us will look at a photo of a property surrounded by cement with no green & compare it favorably with a property that has trees & landscaping, even if the greener property is of lesser value.
The iconic Coral trees in Clifton Gardens were chopped down mid April 2010 by Mosman Council as part of an upgrade of the picnic area. They said the trees had a high-hazard rating. The residents were very unhappy to lose these & 4 other trees. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trees-cleared-at-clifton-gardens-no-picnic-for-some-residents/
Professional tree trimmers in Gilroy California killed 2 owlets when they chopped down a palm tree despite being warned twice about the nest. The Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center is caring for the third owlet, who survived the fall. Police are investigating. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/05/21/2-baby-owls-killed-when-palm-tree-cut-down/UPI-39621211398657/
Energy Australia reduced a Frenches Forest woman to tears after their tree pruners entered her property & ‘butchered’ her trees. She said her trees grew straight upwards & were 4 metres away from the power lines & Energy Australia’s intervention was unnecessary. The first comment by ‘Chips’ is also interesting as he says this has happened to trees on his property numerous times. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/tears-over-butchered-garden/
Good news… Buffalo, Illinois, a town of 500 residents has no more room for street trees. They have been focused on street tree planting since 1986 & have now run out of room. Mike Dirksen, city arborist in nearby Springfield said, “There are so many benefits from trees. They shouldn’t just be seen as having an ornamental purpose.” This should be engraved on a gold plaque. Bet the town looks stunning! http://friendsoftrees.org/blog/2010/04/16/illinois-town-has-no-more-room-for-trees/
CELEBRITY NEWS (drum-roll please) Last April, in Sao Paulo, Avatar Producer James Cameron & actor Sigourney Weaver planted a native Brazilian tree pau-brasil which is 99% extinct to kick-off a global Earth Day Network which intends to plant 1 million trees in 15 countries by the end of 2010. http://www.tonic.com/article/james-cameron-plants-first-one-million-trees/