A City Without Trees?
Did you ever notice that in those science fiction movies that portray what our lives will likely be like (usually not for the better) maybe 100 years hence, the landscape is often devoid of any hint of nature. I’m struck by the question I’ve occasionally had over the years to the effect “why is a nature photographer carrying a camera in the city?” Luckily, back on planet earth, our reality, at least so far, is not one devoid of nature where we live. Thanks to the sometimes paternalistic foresight of most of our city planners, trees are a fixture of the urban landscape. As I’ve said before though, they are under threat, as documented by the wonderful work of Everlyn Herwitz, Trees at Risk . In fact the canopy of trees that has given many cities large and small so much in the way of fresh air, shade and aesthetic beauty is shrinking. (To say nothing of the urban canopy’s capability as a warrior against global warming.)
But sometimes people with the power to do something about a problem actually step up and take positive action, so here’s a shout out to Mayor Bloomberg of New York City and his Million Trees campaign. We just returned from a wonderful week in New York with Al and Donna, and spent some time in Central Park on a bitterly cold day. Not much of a canopy this time of year of course, but the trees are still with us, everywhere we go. In the winter, the shapes of the trees stand out, as well as their reach, the way they seem to interact with one another, and with the people who depend upon them, and on whom they depend. (Click on the images for a better view.)
A city without trees is unthinkable; so, thank you Mr. Mayor. (Even though you had some trouble getting the streets cleaned in December.) There are many such initiatives underway throughout the United States, including several in Worcester, Massachusetts, my home town. They are worthy of your consideration and support.