Life in The Maple City: Benefits of an Urban Forest
If you’ve never explored the Goshen Guide, I really urge you to! Go ahead, just start clicking around and see what you find. If I’ve still got your interest here, I can give you a simplified explanation of what it’s all about…. The Goshen Guide functions as an interactive archive for all things Goshen; and in that way, it’s sort of our local wikipedia. (Find out more in the About tab above.)
Navigating through the Goshen Guide may seem daunting at first, but the “themes” and “related topics” at the end of each page can help you sort it out pretty quick. Or, by using the search tool, you can easily discover content important to you. After searching for “trees,” I located the 2011 Tree Inventory and found in 2011, Goshen’s public lands boasted over 22% canopy cover and 12,000 trees! According to Aaron our city forester, that number has grown to over 13,000 in the past seven years with the help of middle school classes, 4-H groups, college students, local businesses, and numerous other individuals. The Inventory also reports that our trees save the city over $1,000,000 every year! I would say that’s pretty impressive.
If you click one of these keywords: urban forest or trees, you can find the other documents, videos, etc. that relate to Goshen’s trees. But, since accessing data is what the Guide is all about, you can also find some important ones right here:
Taking in this information is a great way to appreciate the forest we live with. However, you may be asking, what’s next? We have this content at our fingertips, what else can we do with it? Those are great questions and I definitely don’t have all the answers. But, as first steps, we can use this information is to promote tree plantings and dissuade tree removal. From a statistical approach, interested individuals could geospatially analyze relationships between trees and other Goshen data (e.g. water quality), or perhaps, determine if there is a correlation between location and benefits. The possibilities, while not infinite, are certainly immense.
Catch next week’s blog about the history of our trees, and in the meantime, keep exploring.