Sustainable Cleveland 2019 (2013)
The Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative is a 10- year initiative to engage the community to design and develop a resilient Cleveland to improve the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the city. As an implementation measure of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative, the Cleveland Botanical Garden is implementing a land use model that strives to create a relationship between the community and environment. The Cleveland Botanical Garden, under the umbrella of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative, provides a model of how to engage the surrounding community and implement sustainable practices that can be applied at the regional and national level for other similar sites.
Geri Unger. “Sustainable Cleveland 2019.” Cleveland Botanical Gardens. 2013. http://www.sustainablecleveland.org/working-groups/cross-cutting-groups/green-venues/cleveland-botanical-gardens/
The Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks (2009)
The American Society of Landscape Architects launched the Sustainable Sites Initiative to demonstrate that any landscape, whether developed or not, holds the potential to provide and regenerate natural benefits and services like cleaner air and water and climate regulation. The Initiative developed criterion for sustainable land practices that will enable landscape managers to protect existing ecosystems and restore land to ecological health.
American Society of Landscape Architects, “The Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks.” U.S. Botanic Garden, pp. 1-233. 2009. http://www.sustainablesites.org/report/Guidelines%20and%20Performance%20Benchmarks_2009.pdf
Northeastern United States
Proceedings from Northeast Landscapes Conference: Improving Conservation Policies in the Northeast Mega Region (2012)
This report discusses ways to accelerate large landscape conservation in the Northeast region of the U.S. The report focused on ways to conserve fish and wildlife populations that are threatened by climate change, establish conservation programs to protect water quality, find resources during a time of limited governmental support, and create priorities for urban ecosystems. The report concludes that there is a need for additional leadership to establish local land use rules and initiatives that reflect land values and promote shared principles for sound development and conservation.
Robert Bendick, Mary Wagner, Michael Creasey, and Kenneth Elowe. “Proceedings from Northeast Landscapes Conference: Improving Conservation Practices in the Northeast Mega Region.” 2012, 1-4. http://www.rpa.org/pdf/RPA-Northeast-Landscapes-Conference_Summary.pdf
The Case for Sustainable Landscapes (2009)
This is an accompanying document to the “Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks.” This paper provides a set of economic, environmental, and social arguments for the adoption of sustainable land practices, like performance benchmarks, purpose and principles of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, and sample case studies.
American Society of Landscape Architects, “The Case for Sustainable Landscapes.” U.S. Botanic Garden, pp. 1-54. 2009. http://www.sustainablesites.org/report/The%20Case%20for%20Sustainable%20Landscapes_2009.pdf
Forests to Faucets: An Overview (2012)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service division used a Geographic Information System (GIS) to map the continental U.S. land areas that are most important to surface drinking water, the role forests play in protecting these areas, and the extent of threats to forests due to development, insects and diseases, and wild land fires. This dataset can be used for large scale planning by identifying areas of interest for protecting surface drinking water quality. The Forest to Faucets data can be used as an education tool to identify areas that supply surface drinking water, have consumer demand for the water, and are facing development threats.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. “Forests to Faucets: An Overview.” Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. 2012, 1-34. http://www.fs.fed.us/ecosystemservices/FS_Efforts/forests2faucets.shtml
Public policies for managing urban growth and protecting open space: policy instruments and lessons learned in the United States (2004)
The public sector of the U.S. has responded to growing concern about the social and environmental costs of development patterns by creating a wide range of policy tools, like public acquisition of land and incentive-based approaches used to manage urban growth and protect open space. This paper reviews the literature that describes these public policies and their implementation. Overall, the results show that there is a lack of evaluation of growth management policies, policy implementation is critical, and multiple policy instruments can be used to reinforce and complement each other, in order to increase effectiveness.
David Bengston, Jennifer Fletcher, & Kristen Nelson. “Public policies for managing urban growth and protecting open space: policy instruments and lessons learned in the United States.” (www.sciencedirect.com) 69, no. 2 (2004): 271-286. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204603002019
Cities and Biodiversity Outlook Action and Policy: A Global Assessment of the Links between Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (2012)
The assessment discusses how urbanization and biodiversity can intersect in positive ways and offers recommendations for strengthening the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources within an urban context. The study indicates that urbanization increases the negative effects of climate change due to increased fossil fuel emissions, and it posits that urban biodiversity, like urban parks and vegetation, can provide important ecosystem services to curb some of the negative effects of urbanization. Moving forward, it is important to develop sustainability by implementing policy that addresses the need for green space within cities in order to benefit from ecosystem services and protect biodiversity.
Kathryn Campbell, et al. Cities and Biodiversity Outlook Action and Policy: A Global Assessment of the Links between Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2012, 1-68.
The impact of projected increases in urbanization on ecosystem services (2011)
Altering land use disturbs ecosystem services, and in the future, urbanization will become the main cause of land-use changes in cities throughout the world. This source uses Britain as its model and draws on information about how urbanization shifts impact ecosystem services and their associated benefits to people and wildlife. This source focuses on three different ecosystem services, flood mitigation, agricultural production, and carbon storage; concluding that there are challenges of meeting and predicting the future demands and patterns of ecosystem services in the face of increasing urbanization.
F. Eigenbrod, V. Bell, H. davies, A. Heinemeyer, P.R. Armsworth, and K.J. Gaston. The impact of projected increases in urbanization on ecosystem services. Royal Society of Biological Sciences, 2011, 3201-3208. retrieved from http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/278/1722/3201.full.pdf+html
Integrating sciences to sustain urban ecosystem services (2011)
This article presents a review of ecosystem services associated with water that can be used in urban environments to provide a framework for discussion of land-use practices and sustainable change to provide green-blue spaces. The most resilient, multifunctional land use practices are those that enable ecosystems to thrive, making urban environments more sustainable. These practices include reducing habitat pollution, opportunities for recreation, and urban communities to reconnect people to nature.
L. Lundy & R. Wade. “Integrating sciences to sustain urban ecosystem services.” Progress in Physical Geography 35, no. 5 (2011): 653-669.
Novel urban ecosystems, biodiversity and conservation (2011)
This paper reviews the ways that biodiversity is affected by urbanization and discusses the different consequences of conservation approaches. This paper argues for a paradigm shift to consider the whole range of urban ecosystems instead of focusing on local habitats and native species in urban settings. It is important to consider the use of ecosystem services in relation to land use practices in order to see the possibilities for biodiversity conservation and the social benefits for local inhabitants.
Kowarik, Ingo. “Novel urban ecosystems, biodiversity and conservation.” Elsevier 159 (2011): 1974-1983.
Wild Cities (2013)
The Wildlife Cities project works to establish wild areas in urban spheres with appropriate management and strategies to communicate the importance of wilderness within cities. It is important to develop a movement and network of cities nationally and internationally that promote urban wilderness.
“Wild Cities.” Deutsche Unwelthilfe, pp. 1-12. 2013.
Amigos De Los Rios- Emerald Necklace Accord (2012)
This plan establishes collaboration among the agencies involved in the San Gabriel Valley and Gateway region. The plan is aimed at preserving the rivers and tributaries of the region for the purposes of recreation, open space and habitat conservation.
Emerald Necklace Accord (2012). http://www.amigosdelosrios.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Emerald-Necklace-Accord-Agreement-2013-FINAL.pdf
Implementation Strategies of the Milwaukee Regional Partnership Initiative
This plan is mostly focused on water quality management and land use goals for the economic improvement of public land and services. There is a core focus on protecting land for agriculture, habitat, and development within the Greater Milwaukee watersheds and Lake Michigan area.
Regional Water Quality Plan Goals and Strategies (2008). http://www.swwtwater.org/home/documents/WQI_goals_link_to_SEWRPC-1.pdf
Liberty Prairie Reserve Master Plan (2013)
This plan is an update from the original plan in 1991 and was adopted by the Lake County Forest Preserve and Libertyville Township. The plan should be seen as a model of cooperation between public and private landowners to maintain a diverse and prosperous environment for all flora and fauna. The agricultural, recreational and conservation values of the land are explained in order to help people sustain the natural landscape for the future.
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and Conserve Lake County. “Liberty Prairie Reserve Master Plan.” (2013). http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/20583/359216/FY13-0111+LIBERTY+PRAIRIE+RESERVE+MASTER+PLAN+062813+ps+standard.pdf/2afeba6e-116a-4804-9fbc-f0e3d9675d5d
Lake County Sustainable Local Food System Report
This report is a guide for how to strengthen sustainable local food systems in Lake County. The main objectives are to identify barriers in developing sustainable food systems and propose recommendations to address those barriers in a realistic way.
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. “Lake County Sustainable Local Food System Report.” (2013). http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/20583/359216/FY13-0083+LAKE+CO+SUST+FOOD+POLICY+REPORT+ps+standard.pdf/dc52b033-2919-484c-abaf-33c98ee08ab2
Growing Garden Communities: Openlands’ 2013 Local Food Research Report
This report surveys the evolution of small-scale local food gardens in Chicago and inventories the various models of community and school food gardens existing in the city today. It also proposes recommendations for scaling up local food gardening in Chicago.
Openlands. “Growing Garden Communities: Openlands’ 2013 Local Food Research Report.” (2013).
Health and Wellness
Research on the Beneficial Aspects of the Experience of Nature in Cities: A Literature Review (2012)
This literature review offers information about the myriad health benefits of spending time and experiencing nature, including nature’s healing benefits.
Kathleen Wolf, Katrina Flora, Elizabeth Housley. Research on the Beneficial Aspects of the Experience of Nature in Cities: A Literature Review. Prods. TKF Foundation and Open Spaces Sacred Places National Awards. February 27, 2012.
A Cohort Study Relating Urban Green Space with Mortality in Ontario, Canada (2012)
This Canadian study suggests that urban green space is associated with long-term reduction in mortality rates for a cohort of 575,000 adults, ages 35 and older, over a four year period. The study’s findings suggest that mere proximity to nature in an urban environment enhances people’s health, which could be explained by increased exercise in these green spaces and healthier lifestyles. However, the study advises that its findings should be interpreted cautiously as this association could be influenced by socio-demographic and lifestyle factors.
Paul J. Villeneuve, Michael Jerrett, Jason G. Su, Richard T. Burnett, Hong Chen, Amanda J. Wheeler, Mark S. Goldberg. “A Cohort Study Relating Urban Green Space with Mortality in Ontario, Canada.” Environmental Research 51, no. 8 (May 2012): 115.
The active commuting route environmental scale (ACRES): development and evaluation (2010)
This study conducted in Stockholm examined the effects of the environment on active transportation. The study tested a new scale, the Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES), to evaluate how environmental factors, including greenery and aesthetics, can influence the perceptions and behaviors of bicyclists and pedestrians related to active commuting. This could be applied in Cook County to see how the greenery and connectivity of bicycle paths affects the use of the trails through the forest preserves.
Lina Wahlgren, Erik Stigell, Peter Schantz. “The active commuting route environmental scale (ACRES): development and evaluation.” The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, July 2010: 58.
Vitalizing effects of being outdoors and in nature (2010)
This comparative study demonstrated that exercising outdoors in nature has been found to be more restorative than exercising indoors. While walking outdoors increased vitality, no discernible change in this measure was experienced during indoor walks. The study concluded that the presence of nature was an influential factor in improving vitality outdoors.
Richard M. Ryan, Netta Weinstein, Jessey Bernstein, Kirk Warren Brown, Louis Mistretta, Maryle ne gagne. “Vitalizing effects of being outdoors and in nature.” Journal of Environmental Psychology 30 (2010): 159-168.
Exercise, nature, and socially interactive based initiatives improve mood and self-esteem in the clinical population (2012)
A comparative, clinical analysis was conducted to evaluate the psychological benefits of two existing group-based health promotion initiatives; one was an indoor social club and swimming pool compared to the other, an outdoor walking program in the countryside and urban parks. The study’s findings suggest that that exercising outside in nature, coupled with the social component of the exercise activity, may play a key role in managing and supporting recovery from mental illness.
J. Barton, M Griffin, J. Pretty. “Exercise, nature, and socially interactive based initiatives improve mood and self-esteem in the clinical population.” Perspectives in Public Health 132, no. 2 (2012): 89-96.
The mental health benefits of green exercise activities and green care (2007)
A longitudinal study conducted in Colchester, a borough in Essex, England, evaluated the mental health benefits of “mind green activities,” which have a focus on green exercise and social inclusiveness. Participant feedback demonstrated that their interaction with nature played an important part in stimulating positive feelings, and the combination of exercising in nature was identified as being even more positively influential to stimulating positive feelings. This study provides sound evidence for the correlation between engaging in physical activities in nature and having positive psychological benefits.
Jo Peacock, Rachel Hine, Jules Pretty. The mental health benefits of green exercise activities and green care. Report for MIND, 2007.
The influence of interaction with forest on cognitive function (2011)
The aim of this study was to investigate whether forest-based experiences had a positive impact on cognitive function. The results of this study indicated that participants’ cognitive function was significantly improved when they walked in the forest. The results of this study confirmed Kaplan’s attention restoration theory (ART). ART has emphasized the importance of cognitive functions from interaction with natural environments such as forests.
Won Sop Shin, et. al. “The influence of interaction with forest on cognitive function.” Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 26, no. 6 (December 2011): 595-598.
The relationship between trees and human health: evidence from the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (2013)
This journal article describes a natural experiment that was undertaken to investigate the relationship between tree canopy loss, due to the Emerald Ash Borer, and mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory diseases. The researchers used fixed methods by using regression analysis and collected data over a seventeen year period (1990 to 2007) from fifteen states in the U.S. The researches completed the analysis in 2012, and their results suggest causation between EAB prevalence and lower respiratory system and cardiovascular related deaths at the county-level in their study area.
Geoffrey H. Donovan, PhD, David T. Butry, PhD, Yvonne L. Michael, ScD, Jeffrey P. Prestemon, Andrew M. Liebhold, Demitrios Gatziolis, Megan Y. Mao. “The relationship between trees and human health: evidence from the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer.” American Journal of Preventitive Medicine, January 2013: 139-146.
Why sick trees make for sick people (2013)
This article highlights evidence that sick trees have a negative effect on people. It cites information about the devastation of tree loss from Emerald Ash Borer infestation, and makes the point that wealthier communities are suffering comparatively more from tree blight since the loss of greenery is more noticeable.
Abrams, Lindsay. “Why sick trees make for sick people.” The Atlantic, January 23, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2013, from http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2013/01/sick-trees-make-sick-people/4450/
Green space, urbanity, and health: how strong is the relation? (2006)
This epidemiological study is notable for its large data set that provides information about how access to urban nature affects different socio-demographic groups. The results found that the percentage of green space inside a one kilometer to a three kilometer radius had a significant relation to perceived general health. Elderly, youth, and secondary educated people in large cities seem to benefit more from the presence of greenery in their nearby living environment than other groups in large cities. Although the findings conclude that urban planning should make a pointed effort to plan for green space to boost health and wellness, it still points out limitations in research findings on this topic.
J. Maas, R.A. Verheij, P.P. Groenewegen, S.D. Vries, P. Spreeuwenberg. “Green space, urbanity, and health: how strong is the relation?” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 66, no. 7 (January 2006): 587-592.
Effect of exposure to natural environment on health inequalities: an observational population study (2008)
The article presents an observational population study that examines the effect of exposure to the natural environment on health inequalities. The study assessed three variables, including income deprivation, cause-specific mortality, and all-cause mortality, to see how they varied in the study population depending on the participant’s exposure to green space. The results showed that populations living in the greenest areas had lower health inequalities and indicate overall that environmental surroundings may play an important role in reducing socioeconomic health inequalities.
Richard Mitchell and Frank Popham. Effect of exposure to natural environment on health inequalities: an observational population study. Lancet 372.9650 (Nov 8 2008): 1655-1660.
The influence of urban design on neighborhood walking following residential relocation: Longitudinal results from the RESIDE study (2013)
A longitudinal study was conducted in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia to assess how changes, actual and perceived, in the urban environment affected recreational walking. This study provides evidence that both transport and recreational-walking behaviors respond to changes in the availability and diversity of local transit infrastructure and recreational destinations, and shows the potential of local infrastructure to support healthy behaviors.
Billie Giles-Corti et al. The influence of urban design on neighborhood walking following residential relocation: Longitudinal results from the RESIDE study. Social Science & Medicine 77 (Jan 2013): 20-30.
Greenspace in urban neighbourhoods and residents’ health: adding quality to quantity (2012)
This Danish study examines the link between the quantity and quality of both green areas and streetscape greenery in certain urban. The study sample included eighty Dutch urban neighborhoods. Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis and auditing tools were used to assess the quantity and quality of the green spaces and streets. The study included a survey to acquire information about perceived health indicators. The study found a positive correlation between the health indicators and the quantity and quality of the green space in one’s neighborhood. It also specifically found that streetscape greenery is at least as strongly related to self-reported health as green areas.
S.M. van Dillen, S.D. Vries, P.P. Groenewegen, P. Spreeuwenberg. “Greenspace in urban neighbourhoods and residents’ health: adding quality to quantity.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 66, no. 6 (2012).
Children & Nature Worldwide: An exploration of children’s experiences of the outdoors and nature with associated risks and benefits (2012)
C&NN was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working nationally and internationally to reconnect children with nature. The network provides a critical link between researchers and individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to children’s health and well-being. C&NN also promotes fundamental institutional change and provides resources for sharing information, strategic initiatives and success stories.
Children & Nature Network. “Children & Nature Worldwide: An exploration of children’s experiences of the outdoors and nature with associated risks and benefits.” 2012. Accessed on March 20th, 2013 from http://www.childrenandnature.org/downloads/CECCNNWorldwideResearch.pdf
Special Report on Youth: The Next Generation of Outdoor Champions (2013)The Outdoor Foundation conducted the largest survey of America’s youth’s participation in outdoor activity and found that rates of activity for this demographic have substantially declined.
The Outdoor Foundation. “Special Report on Youth: The Next Generation of Outdoor Champions” (Boulder). 2010. Accessed on March 15th, 2013 at http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/research.youth.html
Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder (2008)
Richard Louv’s influential work about children and their disconnect with nature these days has made a critical impression on people and policy. He links the lack of nature in children’s lives today, which he calls nature deficit disorder, with health epidemics, such as rising obesity, attention deficit disorder and depression in our nation’s youth. Last Child in the Woods brings to bear research to draw the important connection that children need more time in nature for healthy childhood development.
Louv, Richard. Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder. 2008.
The influence of nature on social, psychological and physical well-being (2004)
Health Council on the Netherlands & Dutch Advisory Council for research on Spatial Planning, Nature and the Environment. “The influence of nature on social, psychological and physical well-being.” Study (part 1 of 2), 2004. Accessed on March 20, 2013 from http://www.forhealth.fi/pmwiki/docs/dutch-health-council-review.pdf
The Association Between Neighborhood Greenness and Cardiovascular Disease, An Observational Study (2013)
This study investigated the link between physical activity and access to green space to assess whether this modifies risk of coronary heart disease and strokes. The researches established a cross-sectional study that was conducted over a six year span (2003-2009) in Perth, Australia using logistical regression to investigate the effects of variability in neighbourhood greenness on cardiovascular outcomes. Their findings indicate that greenness is negatively associated with coronary heart disease and strokes.
Gavin Pereira, Sarah Foster, Karen Martin, Hayley Christian, Bryan J. Boruff, Matthew Knuiman & Billie Giles-Corti. “The Association Between Neighborhood Greenness and Cardiovascular Disease, An Observational Study.” 1-9.Accessed on January 14, 2013, from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/466
9 new indicators that bicycle travel and tourism are booming: Globally and in the U.S., bike tourism is becoming more popular and lucrative (2012)
This article in Adventure Cycling Association captures the booming cycle tourism trend around the world and shows its economic benefits and health benefits. At the local, state and regional scale, there are many examples of areas, including around the Great Lakes Basin, that are investing major funds to develop biking networks, and results show that the return on investment is also substantial.
Bateman, Winona. “9 new indicators that bicycle travel and tourism are booming: Globally and in the U.S., bike tourism is becoming more popular and lucrative.” Adventure Cycling Association, December 2012. Accessed on December 4th, 2012 from http://adventurecycling.org/news/20121204.cfm?use=web
The National Parks and Public Health: A NPS Healthy Parks, Healthy People Science Plan (2013)
This plan outlines how human health relates to the park system and the global human health movement. The plan includes explanation of physical activity, mental health, and well-being, nutrition, education and communication and how these ideas can relate to the overall preservation of the park system.
National Park Service: U.S. Department of Interior. “The National Parks and Public Health: A NPS Healthy Parks, Healthy People Science Plan.” (2013). http://www.nps.gov/public_health/hp/hphp/press/HPHP_Science.draft.july%202013.pdf
The Chicago Climate Action Plan: Our City. Our Future (2008)
The Chicago Climate Action Plan was created to determine the challenges we face in Chicago as a result of climate change, outline achievable goals to reduce emissions and adapt to changes that currently impact the city of Chicago. The Chicago Climate Action Plan outlines five strategies: Energy Efficient Buildings; Clean and Renewable Energy Sources; Improved Transportation Options; Reduced Waste and Industrial Pollution, and Adaptation.
The Chicago Climate Action Plan: Our City. Our Future. 2008. http://www.chicagoclimateaction.org/filebin/pdf/finalreport/CCAPREPORTFINALv2.pdf (accessed February 5, 2013)
Chicago Wilderness Climate Action Plan for Nature (2010)
The Chicago Wilderness Climate Action Plan for Nature provides a regional analysis of how to navigate the complexities of nature conservation in the face of climate change. The plan identifies three main strategies: Mitigate the future impacts of climate change; adapt to the changes that are inevitable, and engage Chicago Wilderness alliance members. The Chicago “Wilderness Climate Action Plan for Nature” was created to serve as a resource for how the alliance could respond to climate change effects in the region focusing on adaptation while still protecting lands as a form of mitigation.
Chicago Wilderness Climate Change Taskforce. Chicago Wilderness Climate Action Plan for Nature. March 1, 2010. (accessed February 5, 2013)
Progress Report: First Two Years. Chicago Climate Action Plan (2008-2009)
The Progress Report for the Chicago Climate Action Plan summarizes the accomplishments made from 2008-2009 to slow down the effects of climate change in Chicago. Some of those accomplishments are: 13, 341 housing units were retrofitted to be more energy efficient, 508,000 gallons of alternative fuel were used, and 35 million gallons of water we conserved per day.
Progress Report: First Two Years. Chicago Climate Action Plan. 2008-2009. http://www.chicagoclimateaction.org/filebin/pdf/CCAPProgressReportv3.pdf (accessed January 14, 2013)
Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda (2012)
Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda is a roadmap that was developed by the City of Chicago to set sustainability goals and identify key actions to take to reach these goals by 2015. The Action Agenda outlines seven sustainability categories: Economic Development and Job Creation; Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy; Transportation Options; Water and Wastewater; Parks, Open Space, and Healthy Food; Waste and Recycling, and Climate Change.
Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda. 2012. http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/progs/env/SustainableChicago2015.pdf (accessed January 14, 2013).
Building a Sustainable Region: Innovative Practices from Metro Chicago’s Global Corporations (2013)
This report showcases environmentally responsible corporations in the metro Chicago region. A group of these companies have met as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Green Ribbon Committee to help him implement the Sustainable Chicago 2015 initiative. These companies share best practices and identify the roles that they can play in advancing Chicago’s goal to be the most sustainable city in the nation.
Building a Sustainable Region: Innovative Practices from Metro Chicago’s Global Corporations. 2013. http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/progs/env/SustainableChicagoRegionReport.pdf (accessed May 14, 2013)
Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Guidelines: Community Briefings (2013)
This community briefing document describes how Chicago is in the process of drafting Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Guidelines and Policies in order to expand upon the environmental benefits of Complete Streets and respond to changing climate conditions. The guidelines will define ways to implement environmental best practices within infrastructure projects, streets, and alleys. A criterion is proposed that will create consistencies for the design, implementation and maintenance of sustainable infrastructure best practices.
Chicago Department of Transportation, “Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Guidelines.” http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1109702661777-11/SUIG+community+briefing+flyr+FINAL.pdf (accessed May 14, 2013)
UFORE/i-Tree Eco Analysis of Chicago’s Urban Forest (2010)
The USDA Forest Service worked with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, and WRD Environmental to conduct a UFORE (Urban FORest Effects, now called i-Tree Eco) analysis of Chicago’s urban forest in the summer of 2007. The UFore/i-Tree Eco model developed by the Forest Service uses on-the-ground sampling data to understand the composition of the urban forest and calculate the forest’s impacts on air pollution and energy use.
http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/urban/monitoring/eco-analysis-chicago/ (accessed May 14, 2013)
CNT National Stormwater Management Calculator Tool
On-line resource to calculate annual and lifecycle benefits of site specific initiatives that manage stormwater.
CNT National Stormwater Management Calculator Tool. http://greenvalues.cnt.org/national/calculator.php (accessed May 14, 2013)
CMAP Climate Adaptation Guidebook for Municipalities in the Chicago Region (2013)
This planning guide is intended to advise municipalities in the Chicago region that want to develop Climate Change adaptation plans. This planning guide focuses on the planning processes and specific issues such as flooding, heat, and human health.
CMAP Climate Adaptation Guidebook for Municipalities in the Chicago Region, June 2013. http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/20583/292057/FY13-0119+Climate+Adaptation+toolkit+lowres.pdf/22a85481-c77e-4363-86ca-b4c3a207dc9dPdf. (accessed 7/15/13)
Climate Change Update to Chicago Wilderness Biodiversity Recovery Plan
This update takes the Chicago Wilderness Biodiversity Recovery Plan and outlines new threats that climate change brings to the challenge of maintaining and improving biodiversity in the region. This update also overlays climate change considerations and strategies to prior recommendations.
Climate Change Update to Chicago Wilderness Biodiversity Recovery Plan www.climate.chicagowilderness.org/ (accessed 7/15/13)
National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy 2012
A comprehensive and up-to-date report written by the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Partnership that is meant to inspire and enable natural resource administrator, elected officials and other decision makers take action to adapt to a changing climate. Considerations for particular ecosystems are broken out, as well as a review of implications for various sectors.
www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/ (accessed 7/15/13)
US EPA Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Public Review Draft (June 29,2012)
This document presents for public comment the EPA’s plan to fulfill its mission to protect human health and the environment in the face of a changing climate. Contextual climate data is given. The plan is quite specific to the EPA and its particular challenges as a federal agency.
http://epa.gov/climatechange/pdfs/EPA-climate-change-adaptation-plan-final-for-public-comment-2-7-13.pdf (accessed 7/15/13)
The City of Chicago Urban Tree Planting List (2010)
The Urban Tree Planting List anticipates a changing climate and updates the City’s list of urban tolerant trees suitable for hardiness zones five and six.
http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/streets/supp_info/TreePlantingList22410.pdf (accessed 7/15/13)
Sustainability Doctrine of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (Fall 2010)
This document was designed to guide and instruct present and future stewards of FPDCC on how to nurture The Forest Preserve lands to the benefit of all, in perpetuity. The Doctrine focuses on 4 areas of sustainability: ecological, public support and stewardship, operating practices, financial. Guiding principles as well as tactical recommendations are given.
http://fpdcc.com/conservation/sustainability-doctrine/ (accessed 7/15/13)
Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo Sustainability Report (January 3, 2011)
This sustainability report details the current green initiatives undertaken throughout Brookfield Zoo’s facilities for the year. Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo works to achieve their green mission through natural resource reduction; energy reduction; carbon foot-print reduction; engagement of staff, guests, and constituents and certification of sustainable businesses and practices.
http://www.czs.org/CZS/Sustainability_Report-2011 (accessed 7/15/13)
Note: The list of items below builds on the annotated online bibliography compiled by the Land Trust Alliance. The LTA bibliography can be accessed in its full form here.
This annotated bibliography links to more than 40 reports, articles and web pages, giving a brief description of each. The items on the list range from general factsheets to complex statistical studies, so investigators at any level of expertise can find something to interest them.
Specific Research Topics
The Trust for Public Land: Books and Reports
This web page provides access to a complete library of the organization’s publications on the value of natural spaces, including its annual City Park Facts Report, the nation’s most complete database of park facts for large U.S. cities.
The Trust for Public Land. “Books and Reports.” Online index. The Trust for Public Land. Accessed May 1, 2013.
The Economic Benefits of Open Space, Recreation Facilities and Walkable Community Design (2010)
This research synthesis reviews a sizable body of peer-reviewed, independent reports on the economic value of outdoor recreation facilities, open spaces, and walkable communities. It concludes that parks located in metropolitan areas provide economic benefits to residents, municipal governments, and private real estate developers.
Shoup, L., and R. Ewing. “The Economic Benefits of Open Space, Recreation Facilities, and Walkable Community Design.” Report prepared for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research (2010).
How Cities Use Parks for Economic Development (2002)
This briefing paper summarizes research on parks’ environmental, aesthetic, and recreational benefits for U.S. cities. It brings together specific examples from across the nation, demonstrating parks’ ability to increase property values and municipal revenue, and to attract homebuyers, workers, and retirees.
American Planning Association. “How Cities Use Parks for Economic Development.” In City Parks Forum Briefing Papers, vol. 3, pp. 1-4. 2002.
Open Space Property Value Premium Analysis (2008)
This detailed paper reviews existing research on the private and public benefits that undeveloped lands provide: recreational activities and the aesthetic appreciation; ecosystem services, such as clean water and air; and habitat for species that are valuable to humans. It then details a solid statistical model for calculating the dollar value of these benefits.
Kroeger, Timm. “Open Space Property Value Premium Analysis.” Report prepared for the National Council for Science and the Environment (2008).
The Value of Open Space: Evidence from Studies of Nonmarket Benefits (2005)
Open space provides a range of benefits to citizens of a community, beyond those enjoyed by private landowners. This study reviews more than 60 published articles that estimate the economic value of different types of open space.
McConnell, Virginia D., and Margaret A. Walls. The Value of Open Space: Evidence from Studies of Nonmarket Benefits. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future, 2005.
Return on the Investment from the Land & Water Conservation Fund (2010)
The report calculates the return on the LWCF dollars invested in land acquisition by four federal agencies. It finds that every $1 invested returns $4 in economic value from natural resource goods and services alone.
Sargent-Michaud, Jessica. Return on the Investment from the Land & Water Conservation Fund. Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2010.
Conservation-An Investment that Pays: The Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Spaces (2009)
Making a strong case for conservation as a long-term economic investment, this thorough overview reviews relevant research on the benefits of parks and open spaces, and provides a rich array of U.S. examples.
Gies, Erica. Conservation–An Investment that Pays: The Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Space. Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2009.
Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System (2009)
In 2003, The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence gathered two dozen park experts and economists to examine the ways that park systems economically benefit cities. While not every aspect of a park system can be quantified, this report examines seven major factors: property value; tourism; direct use; health; community cohesion; clean water; and clean air.
Harnik, Peter, and Ben Welle. Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System. Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2009.
The Economic Benefits of Land Conservation (2007)
This collection of papers includes original research and analysis from eight leading experts on the economic benefits of parks and conservation. Topics include the economic benefits of preserving watersheds, urban forests and farmland; the impact of parks on property taxes; and ways that parks and conservation help communities attract businesses and residents.
de Brun, Constance T.F., ed. The Economic Benefits of Land Conservation. Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2007.
Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities (1997)
This book-length study analyzes the economic impact of federal and state public lands protection on gateway communities. It finds that policy change is only one of several factors that influenced a shift away from resources extraction and toward recreational tourism. It also discusses this shift’s implications for land conservation policy.
Howe, Jim, Ed McMahon, and Luther Propst. Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1997.
Western United States
West Is Best: How Public Lands in the West Create a Competitive Economic Advantage (2012)
This research report calculates the impact of popular national parks, monuments, wilderness areas, and other public lands on the development of the West’s economy. It highlights the role of the outdoor activities and recreation in attracting entrepreneurs and businesses.
Headwaters Economics. West Is Best: How Public Lands in the West Create a Competitive Economic Advantage. Bozeman MT: Headwaters Economics, 2012.
Headwaters Economics: The Value of Protected Lands
This webpage links to a rich collection of regional reports, case studies, tools, additional research, and news articles related to Headwaters Economics’ projects analyzing the value of western protected public lands.
Ray Rasker. “The Value of Protected Lands.” Headwaters Economics. Accessed May 1, 2013. http://headwaterseconomics.org/land/reports/protected-lands-value/.
National Treasures as Economic Engines: The Economic Impact of Visitor Spending in California’s National Parks (no date)
This report examines the economic impact of visitor spending in 10 national park sites in California. Visitors to these parks in 2001 spent a total of $643 million in the surrounding communities, supporting nearly 16,900 non-National Park Service jobs and generating more than $266 million in wages, salaries, and payroll benefits.
National Parks Conservation Association, Pacific Office. National Treasures as Economic Engines: The Economic Impact of Visitor Spending in California’s National Parks. San Francisco, CA: National Parks Conservation Association, n.d.
The Economic Benefits of Denver’s Park and Recreation System (2010)
This study of the Denver’s park system shows that it generates considerable economic value for both local government and residents. According to this detailed analysis, Denver’s parks provide the city with $7.1 million in revenue, produce municipal savings of $3.6 million and resident savings of $517 million, and add $48.7 million to residents’ collective wealth.
The Trust for Public Land, Center for City Park Excellence. “The Economic Benefits of Denver’s Park and Recreation System.” Report prepared for the City and County of Denver (2010).
A Return on Investment: The Economic Value of Colorado’s Conservation Easements (2010)
Researchers find that a $595 million investment in conservation easements returned $3.51 billion in public benefits. Some of the measurable benefits that result from permanently protected, privately owned land include: water supply protection; scenic views; flood control; fish and wildlife habitat; recreation (hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife watching, etc.); aesthetics; carbon sequestration; dilution of waste water; erosion control; and agricultural crop production.
Sargent-Michaud, Jessica. A Return on Investment: The Economic Value of Colorado’s Conservation Easements. Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2010.
How Much Value Does the City of Wilmington Receive from its Park and Recreation System? (2009)
This research study explores the economic value of the parks and park programs of the city of Wilmington, Delaware. It finds that, in 2008, they provided residents with savings of $47.2 million and a collective increase of wealth of $11 million. In addition, parks and recreation provided the city’s government with revenues of $1.36 million and municipal savings of $448,000.
The Trust for Public Land, Center for City Park Excellence. How Much Value Does the City of Wilmington Receive from Its Park and Recreation System? Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2009.
Capitalization and Proximity to Agricultural and Natural Lands: Evidence from Delaware (2012)
This study confirms previous results showing that the protection of agricultural and natural lands increases the value of neighboring properties. Surprisingly, the study also demonstrates that open spaces unprotected from development have no distinguishable effect on property values.
Borchers, Allison M., and Joshua M. Duke. “Capitalization and Proximity to Agricultural and Natural Lands: Evidence from Delaware.” Journal of Environmental Management 99 (2012): 110-117.
Economic Benefits of Land Conservation: A Case for Florida Forever (2009)
This brief report compiles a substantial body of research on the economy and its direct link to conservation in Florida, as an introduction to the economics of land conservation within the state.
The Nature Conservancy. Economic Benefits of Land Conservation: A Case for Florida Forever. Tallahassee, FL: The Nature Conservancy, 2009.
Protecting Our Natural Heritage: The Value of Land Conservation in Georgia (2006)
Along with certain national examples, this review reports on the economic impact of Georgia’s natural heritage and land conservation within particular districts. Tallulah Gorge State Park, for example, attracted over 300,000 visitors in 2004, producing $69 million in tourist spending and supporting 930 jobs.
Madsen, Travis, Elizabeth Ridlington, and Jill Johnson. “Protecting Our Natural Heritage: The Value of Land Conservation in Georgia.” Report prepared for the Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center (2006).
Economic Impact of Local Park and Recreation Agencies in Illinois (2005)
The report evaluates the total contribution of Illinois parks to the state’s economy. By analyzing data on full- and part-time employment and agency spending, the report estimates the direct economic impact of parks at $1.64 billion annually. It also considers the multiplier effect of park spending and activities.
Economics Research Associates. Economic Impact of Local Park and Recreation Agencies in Illinois. Springfield, IL: Illinois Association of Park Districts, 2005.
Property Values, Recreation Values, and Urban Greenways (2004)
The impact of greenways on property values in Indianapolis, Indiana is measured in this study. It estimates the value of benefits and costs at $22.6 million and $3.9 million respectively, producing a net value of $18.6 million and a benefit-cost ratio of 5.7. Recreation values are also analyzed.
Lindsey, Greg, Joyce Man, Seth Payton, and Kelly Dickson. “Property Values, Recreation Values, and Urban Greenways.” Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 22, no. 3 (2004): 69-90.
The Value of Open Spaces in Residential Land Use (2002)
This article provides empirical results from Howard County, a rapidly developing part of Maryland, showing that permanent open space increases nearby residential land values more than three times as much as an equivalent amount of developable open space.
Geoghegan, Jacqueline. “The Value of Open Spaces in Residential Land Use.” Land Use Policy 19, no. 1 (2002): 91-98.
Open Space, Residential Property Values, and Spatial Context (2006)
This study confirms earlier research demonstrating that proximity to open space increases property values. It goes on to demonstrate that this effect is greater in neighborhoods that are densely populated; near the central business district; high-income or high-crime; or home to many children.
Anderson, Soren T., and Sarah E. West. “Open Space, Residential Property Values, and Spatial Context.” Regional Science and Urban Economics 36, no. 6 (2009): 773-789.
Managing Growth: The Impact of Conservation and Development on Property Taxes in New Hampshire (2005)
The association between development and high or low property taxes is investigated, and the report finds that, in the long-term, towns with the largest areas of permanently protected land generally have the lowest tax bills.
Brighton, Deborah. Managing Growth: The Impact of Conservation and Development on Property Taxes in New Hampshire. Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2005.
‘‘It Was Tourism Repellent, That’s What We Were Spraying’’: Natural Amenities, Environmental Stigma, and Redevelopment in a Postindustrial Mill Town (2012)
Using a case study in Coos County, New Hampshire, this study analyzes the effects of long-term environmental harm and decay. The authors argue that the environmental stigma of polluted lands presents real obstacles to redevelopment, especially where recreational tourism is involved.
Colocousis, Chris R. “’It Was Tourism Repellent, That’s What We Were Spraying’: Natural Amenities, Environmental Stigma, and Redevelopment in a Postindustrial Mill Town.” Sociological Forum 27, no. 3 (2012): 756-776.
The Economic Value of New Jersey State Parks and Forests (2004)
This detailed analysis finds that every $42 spent by the New Jersey State Park Service produces $110 in economic activities (such as sales), and directly supports 668 non-Service jobs. The study also analyzes the value of recreational uses, ecosystem services, and property value impacts.
Mates, William J., and Jorge L. Reyes. “The Economic Value of New Jersey State Parks and Forests.” Report prepared for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Science, Research, and Technology (2004).
The Economic Benefits of Southern New Mexico’s Natural Assets (2010)
A sustained effort to protect wildlife, increase outdoor recreation, and restore watersheds and forests is examined. The report finds that outdoor recreation alone generates $2.75 billion in retail sales in 2006, and hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation activities sustain 47,000 jobs and generate more than $184 million in yearly sales tax revenue.
Headwaters Economics. The Economic Benefits of Southern New Mexico’s Natural Assets: How Conservation and Restoration Can Improve the Region’s Quality of Life and Long-Term Economic Health. Santa Fe, NM: Audubon New Mexico, 2010.
The Economic Benefits and Fiscal Impact of Parks and Open Space in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York (2010)
This economic analysis concludes that Long Island’s parks and open spaces provide a $2.74 billion annual economic benefit to local governments and taxpayers. Additionally, the conservation of Long Island parks and open spaces is eight times less costly than new residential development.
The Trust for Public Land. The Economic Benefits and Fiscal Impact of Parks and Open Space in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York. Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2010.
Economic Benefits of Land Conservation: North Carolina 2009 (2010)
This online factsheet summarizes the economic benefits of land conservation in eight different categories: tourism; hunting and fishing; outdoor recreation; military readiness; agriculture and forestry; retiree communities; storm damage protection; and health.
Land for Tomorrow. “Economic Benefits of Land Conservation: North Carolina 2009.” The Nature Conservancy. 2010. http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/
North Carolina’s Return on the Investment in Land Conservation (2011)
This report analyzes the past and likely future economic returns generated from Conservation Trust Funds land acquisition spending, and finds that every $1 invested returns $4 in overall economic value.
The Trust for Public Land. North Carolina’s Return on the Investment in Land Conservation. Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2011.
The Economic and Employment Impacts of Forest and Watershed Restoration (2013)
This article describes the policy context of a sustained forest and watershed restoration program in Oregon, and reports on three related studies on its market structure and resulting economic impacts. In addition to approximately 16 jobs supported per million dollars invested, the restoration program has created new local organizational capacity and business opportunities.
Nielsen‐Pincus, Max, and Cassandra Moseley. “The Economic and Employment Impacts of Forest and Watershed Restoration.” Restoration Ecology 21, no. 2 (2012): 207-214.
Measuring the Economic Impact of Green Space in Pittsburgh (2010)
This research report evaluates the possible benefits of turning dilapidated housing into parks and spaces for residents. It finds that Pittsburgh parks create a “green premium” in housing prices which ranges from $23,440 and $45,160, with larger parks producing larger increases. It also calculates that replacing one acre of multi-unit attached housing with one acre of unmanaged green space will reduce stormwater management costs by about $740 per acre.
Aiello, Daniel, Namho Kwon, Nelson Cheung Seok Ho Lee, Amy Chow, Arken Utenov, Kujo Cofie-Godwin, and Elizabeth Wantz. Measuring the Economic Impact of Green Space in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA: Heinz College of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University, 2010.
Pennsylvania Wilds Program Evaluation Report (2010)
The State of Pennsylvania established a program to develop the tourism industry in 12 economically distressed counties. According to this five-year assessment, the program helped the region outgrow the rest of the Commonwealth in number of overnight leisure stays, visitor spending, tourism employment, and tourism earnings.
Econsult Corporation. “Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative: Program Evaluation.” Report prepared for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (2010).
Return on Environment: The Economic Value of Protected Open Space in Southeastern Pennsylvania (2010)
This analysis finds that the region’s protected land adds $16.3 billion to the value of housing stock; generates $240 million annually in property tax revenues; provides environmental services (such as flood mitigation) worth $115 million annually; and reduces yearly health-related costs by $1.3 billion.
Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, Econsult Corporation, and Keystone Conservation Trust. “Return on Environment: The Economic Value of Protected Open Space in Southeastern Pennsylvania.” Report prepared for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the GreenSpace Alliance (2010).
How Much Value Does the City of Philadelphia Receive from its Park and Recreation System? (2008)
In this study, the Center for City Park Excellence documents the economic value of Philadelphia’s parks and park programs. Annually, parks supply city government with $16 million in cost savings and $23 million in revenues, while providing citizens with a wealth increase of $729 million and cost savings of $1.1 billion.
The Trust for Public Land, Center for City Park Excellence. How Much Value Does the City of Philadelphia Receive from Its Park and Recreation System? Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2008.
Determining Economic Benefits of Park Trails: Management Implications (2010)
This study analyzes the economic value park visitors place on trail facilities and services at a South Carolina state park. The estimated economic benefit of the management and maintenance of park trails is $4.76 USD per visit, with 95% confidence intervals between $3.81 and $5.71.
Oh, Chi-Ok, and William E. Hammitt. “Determining Economic Benefits of Park Trails: Management Implications.” Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 28, no. 2 (2010): 94-107.
The Economic Benefits of Seattle’s Park and Recreation System (2011)
This study of the city’s park system shows that it generates considerable economic value for both local government and residents. According to a detailed analysis, Seattle’s parks deliver annual municipal revenue of $19.2 million, municipal savings of $12.4 million, resident savings of $511.6 million, and a collective increase in residents’ wealth of $110.8 million.
The Trust for Public Land, Center for City Park Excellence. The Economic Benefits of Seattle’s Park and Recreation System. Boston, MA: The Trust for Public Land, 2011.
SPECIFIC RESEARCH TOPICS
Reduction of Environmental Costs
An Integrated Monitoring/Modeling Framework for Assessing Human-Nature Interactions in Urbanizing Watersheds: Wappinger and Onondaga Creek Watersheds, New York, USA (2012)
This article describes a software “toolbox” which can model various urbanization patterns and predict their impacts. Applying this software to two New York State catchment areas, researchers demonstrate that increases in new housing permits and impervious surface areas create flashier streamflow and poor stream condition, and that these effects worsen when forest land is developed. The toolbox can be downloaded here.
Hong, Bongghi, et al. “An Integrated Monitoring/Modeling Framework for Assessing Human-Nature Interactions in Urbanizing Watersheds.” Environmental Modeling & Software 32 (2012): 1-15.
Natural Enemy Responses and Pest Control: Importance of Local Vegetation (2010)
In a study of 61 vineyards, researchers find that woody vegetation nearby significantly increases the abundance of different groups of natural enemies that prey on agricultural pests. This broader range of predators and parasitoids increases predation and control of common pest species.
Thomson, Linda J., and Ary A. Hoffman. “Natural Enemy Responses and Pest Control: Importance of Local Vegetation.” Biological Control 52, no. 2 (2010): 160-166.
Trends in Nature-Based Tourism
A Global Perspective on Trends in Nature-Based Tourism (2009)
This study examines visitor numbers at 280 protected areas (PAs) in 20 countries. PA visitation is declining in the United States and Japan, but it is generally increasing elsewhere. The patterns of its growth and decline suggest that nature-based recreation is still desirable globally, but international tourism is shifting away from destinations in richer countries.
Balmford, Andrew, et al. “A Global Perspective on Trends in Nature-Based Tourism.” PLoS Biology 7, no. 6 (2009): 1-6.
A Nationwide Production Analysis of State Park Attendance in the United States (2012)
According to this study, state parks’ annual utilization rate began to trend toward excess capacity in 1991. Adding facilities that broaden public appeal (i.e., a recreation orientation) has little impact on utilization capacities, but an orientation toward public-lands preservation correlates significantly to higher utilization rates.
Siderelis, Christos, et al. “A Nationwide Production Analysis of State Park Attendance in the United States.” Journal of Environmental Management 99 (2012): 18-26.
Education and Volunteer Programs
Los Angeles Conservation Corps’ Tree Planting Program
The LA Conservation Corps’ Tree Planting Program is a work program that is available to young adults from the ages of 18 to 24 that join the Young Adult Corps. The LA Conservation Corps’ Tree Planting Program is a result of partnerships with the LA Department of Water and Power’s Trees for a Green LA and the City of LA’s Million Trees Initiative. The LA Conservation Corp’s tree planting program delivers trees to LA Department of Water and Power customers who receive education about how to plant trees around their homes to save energy.
Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Urban Forestry Tree Planting Programs, http://lacorps.org/young-adult-corps.php#urban (2013).
Chicago Wilderness: Model Collaborative Program Introduces Youth to Conservation Careers (2011)
The Cool Summer Experience is a nature-based summer learning program organized by the First Baptist Church in Waukegan in collaboration with the Waukegan Leave No Child Inside network of partners. During the summer of 2011 a diverse group of 4th through 7th graders explored the outdoors and learned about careers in conservation through site visits and conversations with established conservation professionals.
Chicago Wilderness. Model Collaborative Program Introduces Youth to Conservation Careers. August 2011. http://www.chicagowilderness.org/News/2011/08/30/cool-summer-experience/ (accessed April 8, 2013).
Calumet Stewardship Initiative: BOLD Chicago Institute & Calumet is My Backyard (2012)
Calumet is My Backyard (CIMBY) is a program coordinated by the BOLD Chicago Institute, Chicago Public Schools and the Field Museum’s Calumet Environmental Education Program. CIMBY engages Calumet area high school students and teachers in lasting efforts to preserve and learn about the Calumet region’s forest preserves and other natural areas.
Calumet Stewardship Initiative. BOLD Chicago Institute & Calumet is My Backyard (CIMBY). 2012. http://calumetstewardship.org/member-organizations/bold-chicago-institute-calumet-my-back-yard-cimby#.UZPatL83-1k (accessed April 8, 2013).
Chicago Botanic Garden. College First. (2013)
College First is an eight week paid internship provided by the Chicago Botanic Garden for Chicago Public High School students. Students learn about field ecology, conservation science and get college preparatory assistance. The internship places a strong emphasis on college as a pathway to careers.
Chicago Botanic Garden. College First. 2013. http://www.chicagobotanic.org/ctl/collegefirst (accessed April 24, 2013).
Chicago Zoological Society. Conservation Leadership Program for Youth. (2013)
The Conservation Leadership Program for Youth is a five tier science education program that incorporates nature education, job placement with the Chicago Zoological Society, and college scholarships for those majoring in a conservation related field. The Chicago Zoological Society’s Career Ladder program consists of five rungs. First Rung: ZAP!- Zoo Adventure Passport!; Second Rung: Kid’s Club-Explore Science After School; Third Rung: Youth Volunteer Corps- Serving Brookfield Zoo and Making Friends; Fourth Rung: Paid Positions, and Fifth Rung: College Scholarships.
Chicago Zoological Society. Conservation Leadership Program for Youth. 2013. https://www.brookfieldzoo.org/czs/Educational-Programs/Conservation-Leadership-Program-for-Youth (accessed April 24, 2013).
Eden Place Nature Center (2013)
Eden Place is a nature preserve located in Fuller Park that strives to introduce Chicagoans in the Southside to environmental education. Eden place is an official habitat for the Monarch butterfly and its facilities boast a prairie garden, hiking trail and a few farm animals. There are on-going as well as seasonal educational programs for youth, families and adults.
Eden Place Nature Center. 2013. http://www.edenplacenaturecenter.com/ (accessed April 24, 2013).
Mighty Acorns (2013)
Mighty Acorns is an educational program for 4th through 6th graders that fosters a connection to nature through stewardship. Students learn about key ecological concepts such as adaptation, competition and biodiversity through classroom curriculum and nature exploration.
Mighty Acorns. Education. 2013. http://www.mightyacorns.org/education.html (accessed April 24, 2013).
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. BirdSleuth K-12 Program (2013)
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology provides a diversity of opportunities for people of all ages to learn about birds and how to protect them. In the BirdSleuth program students observe birds in nature, conduct investigations based on what they see and seek answers to their questions. Students can also publish their research and assist scientists by providing their bird observations to the Cornell Lab’s citizen-science project. The BirdSleuth program encourages students to connect with nature by focusing on the sights, sounds and behaviors of birds.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. BirdSleuth K-12. 2013. http://www.birdsleuth.org (accessed April 15, 2013)
Learning Leaders (2013)
Learning Leaders is an organization in New York City that helps NYC public schools by training volunteers to provide individualized instructional support and other school based support. Early childhood volunteers work one-on-one with a small group of students in elementary school classrooms and libraries. The middle school program gives volunteers the opportunity to tutor, act as class coaches or provide general assistance.
Learning Leaders. Enrichment. 2013. http://learningleaders.org/programs/enrichment/ (accessed May 22, 2013).
Audubon NY. For the Birds! (2013)
For the Birds! is an elementary education program taught by Audubon NY Staff and Audubon NY trained volunteers. For the Birds! teaches environmental stewardship through the study of birds. Audubon staff and volunteers visit students at their schools and lead them through lessons in the classroom or in their school neighborhoods. The program concludes with a field trip to a local city park where they can apply their new bird knowledge.
Audobon NY. For the Birds!. 2013. http://ny.audubon.org/birds-1 (accessed May 22, 2013).
Clemson University Experimental Forest
The Clemson Experimental Forest is a 17.500 acre forest surrounding Clemson University that is utilized as a natural resource laboratory. The mission of The Clemson Experimental Forest is to be a self-sustaining living laboratory for the benefit of the University, commerce and citizens of South Carolina.
Clemson University: College of Agriculture Forestry and Life Sciences. Clemson Experimental Forest. 2013. http://www.clemson.edu/cafls/cef/ (accessed April 29, 2013).
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center: Nature Preschool (2013)
Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool provides award winning environmental education to three to five year olds using classroom education as well as structured and unstructured outdoor play. The goal of the nature preschool is to develop a child’s ability to work independently and with others, and to act as caring and responsible environmental stewards. The nature preschool highlights daily outdoor exploration of the Center’s land and inspires children to appreciate how the world around them works.
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Nature Preschool. 2013. http://www.sanc.org/education/nature-preschool (accessed April 15, 2013).
Last Child in the Woods (2006)
Richard Louv’s ground-breaking book Last Child in the Woods demonstrates a direct correlation between the absence of nature in today’s children and health problems such as obesity, depression, and attention deficit disorders. As children become more plugged in to electronic forms of entertainment their connection to nature diminishes. Last Child in the Woods provides an extensive amount of research that shows the importance of time in the outdoors and how it is linked to healthy human development.
Louv, Richard, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2006).
America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations (2011)
On April 6, 2010 President Obama launched the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative and charged the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to develop a 21st century recreation and conservation agenda. The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative conducted nationwide public conversations about conservation. 51 public listening sessions were held across the nation, 21 that were specifically for youth. More than 10,000 Americans were a part of the live sessions and more than 105,000 comments were provided. The listening sessions made it clear that Americans want a deep connection with the outdoors and would like to achieve this through jobs, service, education, and recreation. This report focuses on three principles: Connecting Americans to the Great Outdoors, Conserving and Restoring America’s Great Outdoors, and Working Together for America’s Great Outdoors by making the federal government a more effective conservation partner.
America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations. February 2011. http://www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/documents/upload/AGO-Report-Chapters-1-10-Only-Text-Only-2-7-11.pdf (accessed April 8, 2013).
Hands on the Land (2013)
Hands on the Land is a national network of field classrooms and agency resources to connect students, teachers, families, and volunteers with public lands and waterways. Hands on the Land is sponsored by Partners in Resource Education, a collaboration of five Federal agencies, a non-profit foundation, schools, and other private sector partners. Within the network of Hands on the Land sites, public, non-profit, and private entities customize direct experiences to nature using local natural, historical, and archaeological settings to take classroom learning outside of the classroom.
Hands on the Land. 2013. http://www.handsontheland.org (accessed April 15, 2013).
USDA Junior Forest Ranger Program
The USDA Forest Service has a Junior Forest Ranger Program that provides an exciting way for young people to learn about their national forests and grasslands. The Junior Forest Ranger’s primarily utilize the Adventure Guide to help them explore the natural environment in their neighbourhood, tracking migrating birds and much more. After the child completes the activities in the guide they will send in a completion certificate and be registered as a Junior Forest Ranger.
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Junior Forest Ranger. 2013. http://na.fs.fed.us/ceredirect/jfr/ (accessed April 15, 2013).
National Wildlife Federation. Ranger Ricks Apps for Kids (2013)
Ranger Rick is a fictional character created by the National Wildlife Federation to spark young children’s interest in the outdoors. Ranger Rick originated in a children’s nature magazine published by the National Wildlife Federation but with the shift to technology he is now incorporated into mobile applications. Ranger Ricks Apps for Kids are targeted to children from 2-12 years old. These mobile applications provide games, videos, and articles to promote environmental activism in a fun and engaging way.
National Wildlife Federation. Ranger Ricks Apps for Kids. 2013. http://www.nwf.org/Kids/Kids-Apps.aspx (accessed April 15, 2013).
Project Noah (2013)
Project Noah is a mobile application tool that is used to explore and document wildlife by uploading photographs using a mobile phone or a tablet. These photographs can then be used to assist scientists with their ongoing research. Teachers also have the ability to register with Project Noah and set up their classrooms to access Project Noah’s educational tools.
Project Noah. 2013. http://www.projectnoah.org/ (accessed May 8, 2013).
Creek Watch (2013)
Creek Watch is an Iphone mobile application that enables the user to monitor the health of their local watershed. This application lets users become stewards of their local watershed by taking photographs of a local waterway to report the amount of water and trash there is. This application aggregates all of the data collected and shares it with local water agencies.
Creek Watch. 2013. http://creekwatch.researchlabs.ibm.com/ (accessed May 8, 2013).
What’s Invasive (2013)
What’s Invasive is a Community Data Collection program that lets users collect information to stop the spread of invasive species. Citizens help scientists locate invasive species by providing geo-tagged observations and photographs using the application.
What’s Invasive!. 2013. http://whatsinvasive.com/ (accessed May 8, 2013).
National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) is a network of twenty-eight protected areas created by collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and coastal states. This system protects more than 1.3 million acres of coastal and estuarine habitats for the purpose of long-term research, education and stewardship. NERRS has a Graduate Research Fellowship Program that allows fellows to conduct their research within a National Estuarine Research Reserve. Fellows utilize the reserves as living laboratories to address natural and social science priority issues that impact these protected areas.
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Graduate Research Fellows. 2013. http://nerrs.noaa.gov/GRFDefault.aspx?ID=13 (accessed April 29, 2013).
Equity and Access
California Department of Parks and Recreation. FamCamp: Creating Quality Time for Families (2013)
FamCamp is a collaboration between the California State Parks Foundation and the California Department of Parks and Recreation to provide low-income families with greater access to California’s state parks. FamCamp provides these families with a guided weekend group camping trip that includes all necessary camping equipment, group activities, outdoor leadership, and skills training.
California Department of Parks and Recreation. FamCamp: Creating Quality Time for Families. (2013). http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24915 (accessed February 19, 2013)
The City Project: Equal Justice, Democracy, and Livability for All. Transit to Trails. (2013)
Transit to Trails is a partnership between National Park Service, Anahuak Youth Association, The City Project, Mountains and Recreation Conservation Authority–and an anonymous donor. This program connects inner-city youth and their families to public areas that are only accessible by car transportation. Transit to Trails takes community members on trips to the beach, mountain and Los Angeles River.
The City Project: Equal Justice, Democracy, and Livability for All. Transit to Trails. (2013). http://www.cityprojectca.org/ourwork/forests.html (accessed February 19, 2013).
Los Angeles Conservation Corps. Green Job Training (2013)
The Los Angeles Conservation Corps’ Young Adult Corp program has a green job training component. LA Conservation Corps partners with local community colleges and community based organizations to operate weatherization and solar panel installations. Young Adult Corps members get hands on training in green energy education, energy efficiency, and solar photovoltaic.
Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Young Adult Corps. Vocational Training Program-Green Job Training. (2013). http://lacorps.org/young-adult-corps.php#brownfields (accessed March 20, 2013).
Eden Place Nature Center: An Urban Oasis. Leaders in Training. (2013)
Leaders in Training (LIT) is a free summer apprenticeship program for local teens. It takes place at Eden Place Nature Center with support from the U.S. Forest Service International Programs, Bank of America, and Building Bridges to the Outdoors, a joint project of the Sierra Club and The Sierra Club Foundation. The program has three areas of focus: Outdoor Adventurers; Urban Eden Farm Apprenticeship; and Green Career Training.
Eden Place Nature Center: An Urban Oasis. Leaders in Training. (2013). http://www.edenplacenaturecenter.com/Leaders-in-Training.html (accessed February 19, 2013).
USDA Forest Service, Serving Culturally Diverse Visitors to Forest in California: A Resource Guide (2009)
This resource guide was developed by the USDA Forest Service in response to a continued lack of ethnic diversity in the national forests of California. The Forest Service wanted to determine how to serve diverse visitors in unique and innovative ways. This guide contains research reports, statewide program documents, outreach plans, and best practices. Strategies are provided relating to communication, facilities and services, partnerships, and civic engagement.
Nina S. Roberts, Deborah J. Chavez, Benjamin M. Lara, Emilyn A. Sheffield. USDA Forest Service, Serving Culturally Diverse Visitors to Forest in California: A Resource Guide. June 2009 http://atfiles.org/files/pdf/Cultural-Diverse-Forest.pdf (accessed February 18, 2013).
USDA Forest Service. Urban Connections: Bridging the Gap (2013)
Urban Connections is a Forest Service Eastern Region program that involves urban audiences in Forest Service activities so that they will become stewards of natural resources. Urban Connections is building on existing urban outreach efforts of Eastern national forests and connecting with others across the nation participating in urban outreach efforts.
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Urban Connections: Bridging the Gap. (2013). http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r9/workingtogether/?cid=stelprdb5207958 (accessed February 19, 2013).
Outdoor Afro.com: Where Black People and Nature Meet. (2013)
Outdoor Afro is a social community that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through nature recreation. Outdoor Afro aims to negate the false perception that black people do not have a relationship with nature. Outdoor Afro has events in San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Del Marva, Chicago, Portland, North Carolina, and South Mississippi.
Outdoor Afro.com: Where Black People and Nature Meet. (2013). http://www.outdoorafro.com/about/ (accessed February 25, 2013).
Mosaic: Building Links between Ethnic Communities and National Parks. (2013)
Mosaic is a national project in England that took place from 2009 to 2012. Mosaic was led by the Campaign for National Parks and aimed to build sustainable connections between minority ethnic communities and ten of the National Parks in England and Youth Hostels Association. The Mosaic project focused on training local ambassadors from ethnic minority communities to become “Community Champions” promoting the National Parks and the Youth Hostels Association in their communities.
Mosaic: Building Links between Ethnic Communities and National Parks. (2013). http://www.mosaicnationalparks.org/ (accessed February 19, 2013).