Why Are Seeds and Trees So Valuable?
Trees provide many community benefits.
Healthy trees are critical to human well being and wildlife prosperity. Trees cool our cities, filter the air we breathe, provide homes and food for wildlife, and better water-related recreational activities. Their leaves produce life-giving oxygen, and their roots reduce soil erosion and absorb pollutants that would otherwise foul our rivers and streams. Their branches and trunks are home to a bird watcher’s premier list including the great blue heron and American bald eagle.
Native trees are important.
Native trees are especially important because they are adapted to local soil, rainfall, and temperature conditions, and have developed natural defenses to withstand many types of insects and diseases. Because of these traits, native plants will thrive with a minimal amount of maintenance. Wildlife species depend on native plant communities for their habitat, so the use of native trees helps preserve the balance of nature. Plants and trees that are imported from other parts of the nation and the world can actually bring unintended harm, resulting in diminished wildlife and plant diversity.
Our communities have a tree shortage.
You may not know it, but according to American Forests, America’s cities have a deficit of 634 million trees. In this region, the overall tree cover continues to decline and at the same time, areas with little or no tree cover continue to increase. Replanting trees and reforestation is the answer and you can help!
Trees address the problems of nonpoint-source pollution.
In the heavily urbanized counties of the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, nonpoint-source pollution from runoff of sediment, nutrients, and other toxins poses the greatest threat to water quality. Moreover, high-volume storm flow into stream valleys is a prime contributor to accelerated erosion of stream banks contributing to decline of in-stream habitat and extensive sedimentation into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. A significant amount of this runoff originates from individual yards and homes.
Growing Native provides future forests for healthy rivers and streams.
In response, Growing Native engages volunteers of all ages and backgrounds in an effort to restore degraded riverside lands. Restoring sensitive streamside habitats will provide a front-line defense for the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.