Thursday, November 13, 2014

Smart About Trees

Imagine the human condition without trees.  Even the deserts harbor trees.  The human condition, however, sometimes neglects a tree's importance to our environment.  Today we feature Smart Trees Pacific, a nonprofit that works to keep trees a part of Hawaii's legacy, even in the state's urban areas where trees are often replaced with concrete.

From their website:

Smart Trees Pacific (STP) recognizes that Hawaii’s tropical urban trees are a dynamic resource and play a critical role in island communities. Besides the traditional environmental benefits of trees, tropical urban forests are the first line of defense from catastrophic storms and inland water runoff that can impact coral reefs and near shore marine ecosystems, they minimize the effects of climate change occurrences such as a sea level rise and coastal erosion, and they are a dramatic and visual backdrop for Hawaii’s economic engine – tourism. STP has extensive knowledge (more than 40 years collectively) that demonstrates our knowledge and skills in Urban Forestry. Over the past ten years board members have shown their ability to initiate community environmental change through collaborative working groups to:
  • recommend an integrated course of action to reduce the negative impacts of invasive species on the native ecosystems
  • analyze Honolulu’s street tree resource structure, function, value and management needs
  • investigate whether trees could be measures of protection in coastal areas
  • assess Honolulu’s tree canopy
  • develop an urban forestry emergency operations planning toolkit

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