In the world’s biggest cities, tall skyscrapers sprout more frequently than fresh tree saplings — but that doesn’t mean urban dwellers don’t know what they are missing.
Seattle, a city that values its trees, recently fined a judge $500,000 for cutting down 120 cherry and maple trees. Urban jungles like New York and Los Angeles have launched ambitious campaigns to plant 1 million trees.
It’s no wonder that city dwellers have their eye on the emerald prize, as a number of studies show that greenery boosts our health. Just five minutes of exercise a day in an outdoor setting can improve your mental state. Healthy children and leafy suburbs also go together, according to asthma researchers. In a New York City-based study, asthma rates among children fell by a quarter for every 340 trees per square kilometer.
In all, the U.S. Forest Service maintains 193 million acres of national forest and grassland nationwide — meaning ours is a pretty green country.