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The Park and Recreation Department is now accepting applications for Summer Counselors!
Parks and their associated trees are important to both public and planetary health. Park design, however, is usually planned from an economic perspective, e.g., mowing up to a stream’s edge as opposed to maintaining a riparian buffer. Park design should be directed to achieve specific goals, such as mitigation of heat, climate, and stormwater runoff; provision of green spaces that are beneficial to pollinating insects and other wildlife; and accessibility to all demographics.
In support of these goals, SAC Vice-Chair Melanie Vile, an assistant professor in West Chester University’s Environmental Health program, recruited three students from her Global Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability courses to conduct a survey of tree canopy cover—the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above—and a cost-benefit analysis to help guide future improvements to all 14 parks.
Forestry experts recommend at least 30% tree canopy cover, and ours ranged from 4.1% at the Dog Park to 51% at Barker Park, with all but one park either at or below the recommended 30% coverage. This data will help West Goshen to target areas that need tree planting, such as the Dog Park (pooches need shade too!) with the goal of creating a healthier environment, and hence a healthier community. A full report that will be accessible to the public is forthcoming.
For a cool graphic displaying the many benefits of trees, click HERE.