NEW Building for Birds Online Tool

The Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation at the University of Florida has released a new online evaluation tool that evaluates impacts of landscape/subdivision designs on bird habitats.  The goal of the “Building for Birds” online tool is to provide decision-makers with a way to evaluate different development scenarios and how they affect habitat for different species of forest birds that use fragmented areas. This tool allows decision-makers to manipulate amounts of forest fragments (urban/rural) and tree canopy (in built

Cause, Affect and Prevention of Erosion on Urban Trees

Soil ErosionSite clearing and land grading are two construction activities that typically increase soil erosion. These actions change the soil profile and structure, affecting the stability of the soil aggregates and the water infiltration rate. Not only does the site lose soil, but the resulting sediment can interrupt the normal exchange of soil gases. The effects of erosion may be reduced by redirecting or reducing the flow of water.

Signs of Erosion

  • Loss of soil at the site
  • Visible roots
  • Poor

Urban Forests: Understanding Associated Costs

Park in SC

A community receives many benefits from the urban forest; however, there are also costs associated with having a healthy urban forest. Estimates for tree costs in the U.S. range from $12.87 to $65 per tree (McPherson et al. 2005). Working towards the common goal of managing the urban forest to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs helps communities grow and develop while maintaining a healthy environment for current and future generations. A healthy urban forest requires a community investment.

Myra Moss, Ohio State University

Myra Moss specializes in sustainable planning for communities, entrepreneurship development, and energy. She provides guidance, education, and assistance to local elected officials, community leaders, planning and development professionals, and community residents as well as Extension colleagues throughout Ohio and the U.S.

Moss earned her BA at Long Island University and an MA in Sociology and MBA at Ohio University. Prior to her work with Extension, she served in administrative roles with several not-for-profit organizations and was Director of the City-County

Urban Forestry Video Series New Release!

Video Promotion

Trees provide more than just beauty or a source of wood products. Rather, trees provide an assortment of economic, environmental, psychological and social benefits to humans. Energy savings are one such highly valued benefit or service urban trees provide. Did you know that just 17% shade on a building from trees for example can reduce power bills by $10/ month or that urban trees can lower surrounding temperatures by as much as 20° F?  Alternatively, trees can reduce winter heating …

How do trees and other vegetation affect urban mesoclimates and microclimates?

Vegetation affects urban mesoclimate and microclimate by intercepting solar radiation, directing air movement, and affecting air temperature.  Microclimate, mesoclimate and macroclimate can be used to describe the climate of a given location. Macroclimate covers hundreds of square miles and parameters such as precipitation levels, temperatures and winds. Mesoclimate covers areas of tens of square miles and describes how conditions vary from the prevailing macroclimate due to the effects of water bodies, topographic features (terrain), and other landscape influences. A microclimate …

To Frack or Not to Frack is Difficult to Decide

The impoundment berm bordering a Marcellus Shale gas play drilling pad in western Pennsylvania

Matt Damon and the 2012 film “The Promised Land” was a story about it. The Rolling Stones song “Doom and Gloom” is a song about it. And voters in Colorado and Ohio have weighed in on it. Lot of attention but nobody has the answer to the question to frack or not to frack?

“It’s a very complex subject,” said Sharon Anderson, environmental program leader for Cornell University Cooperative Extension. “The answer depends on a person’s role. For example, if …

Anna Haines University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Anna Haines directs the Center for Land Use Education and is a professor and extension specialist at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Her research and teaching focuses on land use planning, community development, and sustainable communities. She is the co-author of Asset Building and Community Development in addition to article, fact sheets, and peer-reviewed publications.

Contact Information

Anna Haines
Center for Land Use Education
800 Reserve Street
College of Natural Resources
University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
Stevens Point, …

Urban Forests: The Benefits Outweigh the Costs


Trees are an important part of our communities, but tree planting, maintenance and protection require an investment of resources, including time and money. Are the benefits that trees afford our communities greater than their costs? The answer is yes. A study of future benefits and costs of a tree planting program in Chicago found that the projected value of trees, when measured by such things as increased property values and decreased energy use, is nearly three times greater than the …

Fostering Distinctive, Attractive Communities with a Strong Sense of Place

What does it mean to foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place?

The Smart Growth Tenet: Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place that reflect the values, culture and vision of residents through the growth and history of their community.


Why is fostering distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place important?

Communities with a strong sense of place build on their unique history, identity and assets to foster community pride, increase …