Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Social Values of Community Trees - Helping Children

Helping Children toward better lives

Trees are beneficial to children in many ways.  There is the physical benefit of shading that helps prevent skin cancer.  A California health official reports that 90 percent of all skin cancer is caused by sunlight and that 80 percent of a person’s sun exposure occurs during childhood – with the damage taking its toll later in life. 

There are also mental health benefits.  Again, the work of Drs. Kuo and Sullivan provides a long list.  One of these is that activities in green settings help reduce the symptoms of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder .  Another showed that inner city girls who lived in apartments with greener, more natural views scored better on tests of self-discipline than those living in barren landscapes.  Self-discipline, of course, is the key to success in school and in avoiding a variety of high-risk behaviors.  Trees are also an important part of re-connecting young children with nature through programs like Nature Explore, the intent being to establish the bonds that lead to environmental stewardship later in life. 

 (Taken from the Tree City USA Bulletin – 2007 Annual Report.  Published by the National Arbor Day Foundation)

Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Environmental Services
Office - (954) 828-7704 Fax - (954) 828-7897

Think before you print!