Pollution, crime, development and diversity – all issues found in an urban environment. Urban forests are beginning to be part of a solution to clean air, clean water, development issues, neighborhood crime, and community building.
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Soundprint has released a three-hour documentary series, Tales from Urban Forests, which explores the critical role trees play in the vitality of cities and their residents. These documentaries are highly relevant to local issues in every community- from environmental and economic, to health and quality of life issues. Each hour features two documentary stories on the urban forest. The series is free of charge to all public radio stations.
Soundprint’s series about urban forests is now available for airing. You can help get this on the air in your local media market by calling your public radio station and expressing your interest/support. Soundprint is making a big push for stations to carry these documentaries over Memorial Day weekend.
Here is information about the series that you can share with your contacts at your local public radio station. These are all free, and can be aired by public, college, and other radio stations.
Hosted by Barbara Bogaev, the series features producers Richard Paul, Katie Gott, Gemma Hooley, Bill Drummond, Jean Snedegar, and Judith Kampfner. See below for detailed descriptions.
The trees are in bloom, summer is coming… let your public radio stations know about these green documentaries.
Hour 1. Tales from Urban Forests
The Public Green and the Poor produced by Richard Paul
Numerous times in American history, reformers have sought to help the poor by putting them amidst nature — believing that physical beauty can make beautiful people. It seems like an odd idea. But Thomas Jefferson believed it fervently. And it’s also the reason Central Park exists in New York and the town of Greenbelt exists in Maryland. This program, from Producer Richard Paul, looks at a time in our past when nature was used to uplift the poor.
Watershed 263 produced by Katie Gott
In urban areas across the country, trees and grass have been replaced with pavement and concrete. Storm water runoff from these paved surfaces in cities can be saturated with harmful substances such as gasoline, oil and trash. We head to the inner city of Baltimore where partners have joined forces to clean up the runoff flowing into the harbor and into the Chesapeake Bay, and at the same time to improve the quality of life for the residents living there.
Hour 2. Tales from Urban Forests
Code Green produced by Gemma Hooley
Code Green explores the impact that hurricanes have on urban green cover, from integrating trees and wetlands into a city’s infrastructure and disaster plan, to post-hurricane damage assessment of city trees and coastal marshes, to recovery and rebuilding. Hear from scientists, city planners and urban foresters about their work to establish, protect and restore the green infrastructure in the wake of catastrophic hurricanes, in coastal cities from Charleston to New Orleans.
Cities of the Plain produced by Bill Drummond
Urban forests in desert settings – no, this is not about transferring Central Park to L.A. Arid environments have their own “green” cover, and cities destroy and ignore that vegetation to their peril. Veteran producer Bill Drummond travels out West from mountains to shore to ask: when are trees beneficial and when are they not? His search helps us understand how urban policies are shaping the U.S. and global ecosystem.
Hour 3. Tales from Urban Forests
The Urban Forest Healing Center produced by Jean Snedegar
From the time he wrote ‘Walden – Life in the Woods’ philosopher Henry David Thoreau understood the restorative value of trees to the human soul. More than 100 years later researchers are discovering why. Even in the most deprived inner city, trees and green space around buildings reduce crime and violence as well as promote a sense of community and well-being. Producer Jean Snedegar explores how Chicago is capitalizing on this research to change the pace of city life.
Cultural Ecology produced by Judith Kampfner
Urban forests provide economic, social and cultural value to neighborhoods and cities. But what are the needs and expectations different ethnic and racial groups have for green space? And how does understanding those needs draw tighter communities? Producer Judith Kampfner compares the cities of New York and London, and the approach new and old ethnic racial and immigrant groups have towards green space.
The series, Tales from Urban Forests, is produced by the SOUNDPRINT Media Center, and supported in part by American Forests and the U.S. Forest Service.