Six ways to support a living system that supports us
- Learn how to take care of the trees closest to you
- Reject construction projects that destroy or fragment forests
- Volunteer with one of your area’s land trusts, or a land preservation organization
- Watch your city/town, as well as the state, for green space bonds
- Participate in urban forestry
- Go for a walk in the woods
As well as absorbing climate-warming carbon dioxide, woodlands lower temperatures under their shade, protect water supplies, provide wildlife habitat, hold back erosion, and can serve to break strong winds. In New England, it takes 100 years or more for woodlands to mature. And while our woods in RI have been maturing, they have been declining in extent. This trend needs to be reversed if we are going to maintain our quality of life in Rhode Island.
Household action: Taking care of the trees closest to you might mean volunteering with an organization that does woodlands management, like the RI Forest Conservators Organization or following the recommendations of the Rhode Island Tree Council for the trees on your city street. Your trees are your neighbors, too: the services they perform for you are vital.
Rhode Island is rich in open spaces and several kinds of ecosystems, and since 2004, Rhode Island voters overwhelmingly (about 61% statewide) approve open space. Recreational and agricultural bond referendums help to keep our woodlands lively, healthy, protected from unnecessary development, and continuous with the systems of air, water and earth that keep us alive, too.
Community action: Work with the advocacy organizations in the “Further Resources” section to keep current on which bonds and referenda for green space, conservation, local farming, and intentional land use you want your elected officials to support.