PROJECT CANOPY SAYS GOODBYE TO A FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE
Laura Minich Zitske, Project Canopy's Community Outreach Coordinator, is leaving us to work as the Wildlife Ecologist/ Piping Plover and Least Tern Project Director with the Maine Audubon Society. Although she was with us only a short time, Laura made significant contributions to helping Project Canopy increase and diversify its portfolio of supporters. Her successes include building supporting partnerships with area banks seeking to "green" their business, garnering additional support for MFS's Presumpscot Watershed Project, and obtaining ongoing sponsorship for tree plantings from utilities.
We will miss Laura. Please join us in wishing her complete success in her new position.
FRIEND AND BENEFACTOR OF URBAN TREES LEAVES A LIVING LEGACY
Stanley Taylor Bennett II, president of Oakhurst Dairy, passed away February 23rd. Over his lifetime, Stan devoted countless hours to many organizations, among them the Maine Forest Service and the Portland Tree Trust. After the devastating ice storms of January 1998, Stan responded to tree damage by embarking on a fundraising campaign to support restoration and replanting of our community trees. In three months, the dairy raised $112,000 by contributing 3 cents from the sale of each gallon and half-gallon of Oakhurst brand milk. The Maine Forest Service matched the Oakhurst funding 3 to 1, and together, $400,000 was invested in 19 communities as part of the Oakhurst Tree ReLeaf Program.
NEW ARBOR WEEK PLANTING GRANTS FOR SCHOOLS IN 2011
Project Canopy would like to help schools across Maine celebrate Arbor Week (May 15-21) the appropriate way: by planting trees. We will offer small grants to help schools plant a tree on their property. If you are interested in participating and would like to know about the application process, please contact Jan Santerre at 287-4987 or email@example.com.
RESEARCH IN FORESTS FINDS NEW BENEFITS OF OLD TREES
RESEARCH IN FORESTS FINDS NEW BENEFITS OF OLD TREES Scientists from McGill University in Montreal have looked taken a closer look at old trees and benefits that they contribute to the forests around them. Available nitrogen is believed to be a limiting factor in the growth of forests as most plants cannot use nitrogen as it is found in the soil and air. Cyanobacteria in mosses on the ground were recently shown to supply nitrogen to the Boreal forest as they can transform atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use, but this is a first look in to cyanobacteria above the forest floor. By collecting mosses on the forest floor and then into the forest canopy, Dr. Zoë Lindo found both that the cyanobacteria are more abundant in mosses high above the ground, and that they "fix" twice as much nitrogen as those associated with mosses on the forest floor. The amount of nitrogen coming from the canopy depends on trees having mosses, which means that the trees must be old enough to have gathered mosses and cyanobacteria. "Many trees don't start to accumulate mosses until they're more than 100 years old. So it's really the density of very large old trees that are draped in moss that is important," Lindo says.
TREES SURROUNDING PREGNANT WOMEN MAKE HEALTHIER BABIES
We all are aware of the benefits of urban trees, but a new study conducted in Portland, Oregon found an unexpected positive aspect to living near trees- healthier babies. Satellite images were examined to compare tree cover around the houses of 5,696 women who gave birth in Portland in 2006 and 2007. Pregnant women living in houses surrounded by more trees were significantly less likely to deliver undersized babies. For each 10 percent increase in tree coverage within about 50 yards of a home, the rate of undersized newborns decreased by 1.42 per 1000 births. Researchers say that the study demonstrates the role that trees play in reducing stress, as prenatal stress is well-established.
TARGET OFFERS SMALL GRANTS FOR SCHOOL FIELD TRIPS
Know of a class that would benefit from exploring the world outside the classroom but they cannot afford it? Perhaps a trip to a forest might help solidify science concepts that have been taught, or maybe a visit to a sugar shack would offer an opportunity to tie together lessons on environment, math, and history? Grants will be open starting summer of 2011, see the Target website for more information.
REPORT ON BIOMASS IN THE NORTHEAST
The Cary Institute recently released a study on the use of forest biomass for energy in the Northeast. The research addressed the amount of biomass that can be sustainably harvested from Northeastern forests for energy purposes, and which conversion technologies most effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and promote the rural economy of the region. Study results indicate a lesser amount of biomass can be sustainably harvested than many previous studies have estimated. Most of the biomass that is available for energy will have to come from recovery of logging waste such as the treetops left behind by traditional logging practices. In some states there is potential for a modest increase in tree harvests. The report noted that things look more optimistic for states like Maine, with large forested areas and low energy use. The full report can be found here.
CITIZEN FIGHTS TO PREVENT TREE TOPPING
Six years ago, Charles Goodman of Indiana was unhappy when a utility crew lopped the top of a tree located near a power line in his front yard. Rather than simply complain, he launched a fight that culminated last year in a major victory when state regulators issued a ruling that influences the tree-trimming practices of Indiana utilities. The commission order forbids the investor-owned electric utilities from topping trees or removing more than 25 percent of a tree's canopy without the property owner's consent, among other things. Seventy years old and still fighting, Goodman demonstrates what one person can accomplish with enough determination.
ALABAMA COLLEGE RIVALRY HITS THE TREES
Live oaks that have graced the community by Auburn University for 130 years were poisoned in January by a zealous University of Alabama fan. The large trees were decorated with toilet paper when there was cause for celebration, typically for football wins. Tragically, these celebrations with trees made them an unusual target for the retired state trooper Crimson Tide fan, who subjected them to a lethal dose of herbicide from which they are not expected to recover.
UP & COMING
USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area event calendar: www.na.fs.fed.us/urban/index.shtm
Maine Arborist Association 74th Annual Meeting, Howard Johnson, Portland ME
Massachusetts Community Tree Conference, Amherst, MA
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey. Vaughn Woods State Park, South Berwick. For more information or to register, contact Allison Kanoti (firstname.lastname@example.org , (207) 287-3147)
Portland Flower Show, Portland Company Complex, Portland ME
Deer Ecology, habitat, and Habitat Management workshop, 8:30 am-12, Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen's Association clubhouse, Oquossoc. More info can be found here or by contacting Patty Cormier (207-592-2238 or email@example.com).
Take a Stand: Introduction to Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Identification and Monitoring. 8am to 12pm, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Freeport. FREE, must contact Alison Kanoti to pre-register by April 4th at 207-287-3147 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginner’s Handheld GPS Workshop. 9am-1pm, Bridgton Community Center. Register in advance by contacting Colleen Hoyt at (207) 780-4205 or email email@example.com. For questions about class content, contact Ken Canfield at (207) 441-3712 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New England Tree Climbing Competition. Bowdoin College, Brunswick or Boothbay area.
Arbor Week in Maine
If you would like to put your community’s activity on the calendar, please let one of the editors know by the 15th of each month.