Victoria Road Marrickville

1.    The New York Times has a great article written by Jim Robbins titled, Why Trees Matter.  It’s about trees & climate change.  The article includes links to scientific articles about how forests along coasts & rivers bring back fish & oyster stocks, that trees clean up the most toxic wastes, including explosives, solvents & organic wastes, decrease the incidence of asthma, reduce the level of stress chemicals in the body & increase natural killer cells in the immune system, appear to help regulate the climate, put out anti-bacterial, anti-fungal & anti-viral chemicals as they out-breathe, provide medicines like aspirin as well as a powerful treatment for breast & other cancers, reclaim land badly affected by drought & are also the planet’s heat shield. “Trees are on the front lines of our changing climate. And when the oldest trees in the world suddenly start dying, it’s time to pay attention.”

2.  New York is  planning a vast underground park called the Lowline to be built in a 1.5-acre trolley terminal built in 1903. All up there are 13-acres of underground space that could be transformed into underground parks. “…the LowLine will rely on fiber optic cables to transfer sunlight below ground. The system will capture & concentrate sunlight above ground before beaming it into the park below, with the design proposal promising that the light will even “carry the necessary wavelengths to support photosynthesis”, meaning plantlife can flourish below ground.”

3.    The Journal of the American Medical Association has published an article about the link between exposure to air pollution & an increased risk of heart attack.  The scientists found, “that being exposed to all major toxic fumes – except ozone – for a period of up to seven days “significantly” increased the risk.”  The facts are indisputable.  I believe it is cheaper to plant street trees & increase the urban tree canopy than it is for the health system to pay for pollution-related illnesses.

4.   Dallas Historic Tree Coalition & the Mountain Stewards have joined forces to identify, document & map historic American Indian ‘marker trees,’ also called ‘trail trees.’  These are trees that have been bent by tying them down while still young providing a map for those with eyes to see of  nearby water, shelter, animals or pointing to a sacred site.  “… Mountain Stewards has been compiling a database of the trees since 2007, documenting about 1,850 Indian marker trees in 39 states. Those who research the trees have a verification process, as they must be old enough — at least 150 to 200 years old. It also helps if scars can be found that would indicate it had been tied down. Sometimes, the researchers consult with tribes for confirmation.”

5.  Italian architect Stefano Boeri has designed 2 residential towers for Milan that, “will provide roots for 900 trees, as well as plenty of shrubbery & other floral vegetation. Their footprint, when flattened, is equal to 10,000 square meters of forest.”  It will be the world’s first vertical forest & help with Milan’s heavy air pollution. “And with construction costing only five percent higher than that of a typical skyscraper, the concept of a vertical skyscraper is incredibly accessible for other cities facing similar plights.”

6.   The world’s largest rooftop farm is to be built on an 8-storey building in Brooklyn NYC. The farm will be 9,290.304-sq.metres (100,000 sq. feet). It will include a hydroponic greenhouse that will grow up to 453,592.37kgs (1,000,000 pounds) of vegetables & herbs per year supplying up to 5,000 New Yorkers as well as, “prevent as much as 1.8 million gallons of storm water from going into local waterways.”  Brilliant.

7. Seattle Washington will soon convert 7-acres of city-owned land into a permaculture edible forest…with free food for anyone, including urban wildlife. The forest will be 4.2kms (2.5 miles) from Seattle CBD.  Food security is becoming a recognized issue, especially in the US.

8.   Street trees & hedges were planted to reduce peripheral vision as a traffic calming method & to remove the need for speed camera in 4 villages in Norfolk UK. The trees were found to have had, “a dramatic impact on motorists’ behaviour. In all there was a 20 per cent drop in the number of motorists driving at 40 to 60mph & overall average speeds fell by 1.5 per cent.”

9.   Research by Monica Gagliano University of Western Australia, Professor Daniel Robert University of Bristol UK & Professor Stefano Mancuso University of Florence Italy published in the International journal Trends in Plant Science has found that young roots of corn made regular clicking sounds to communicate with each other. “It is very likely that some form of sensitivity to sound & vibrations also plays an important role in the life of plants.”

10.    Scientists at Exeter University in the UK have also shown that plants communicate.  They put two healthy plants together with one plant of the same species who’s leaves had been cut & watched using a sensitive photon counting camera as the injured plant released a gas & the other plants responded.  You can watch a video of the experiment here – or read about it here –

Church Street Marrickville