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How Trees Help Against Climate Change

After reading an article from the Quad Cities Times by Brittney Miller, I was caught in awe on the benefits of trees and how they are continuously combating against climate change. After agreeing with the writer that Iowa’s weather is getting hotter with more extremes, there is this want to do all we can to help mitigate climate change effects happening within our own community. Brittany also mentioned the Iowa Climate State of 2022, which again highlighted the benefits of the trees.

Could Iowa really benefit from planting more trees or is that just a cliché that we are told to save the planet? After going through the Iowa Climate Statement, I would say, it’s not a cliché. Trees have an astonishing benefit to our local ecosystem. Not only do they increase carbon sequestering, they also help cool buildings with their shade by reducing heat island effects and dissipating the suns radiant energy, provide habitat to our animals, insects, and bird population, they help against soil erosion and improve soil quality, and some even provide a food supply through agriculture means.

The Iowa’s Climate Statement even mentioned that “The August 2020 derecho is emblematic of the impact of climate change on our trees: this extreme weather event led to the loss of an estimated 7 million rural and urban trees in Iowa. Many tree-planting programs are now underway to begin to replace them. These new trees give us a connection to our future, as many of those we plant now could be growing well into the next century, in a new and changing climate.”

As we can tell, trees provide an immense economic, environmental, and population value when combating against the effects of climate change in our communities. Community awareness of environmental effects is also just as much needed, as more and more articles come out about environmental topics, we should continue to keep sharing them and having conservations about the environment. Which is what we are doing here at River Action, with our 2022 Upper Mississippi River Conference happening very soon, we are focusing on the changing climate, and will be having the opportunity to discuss the effects and mitigation plans of climate change with a wide variety of stakeholders. The conference is October 19th and 20th, and you can still register until October 14th at riveraction.org/umrc. We hope to see you all there.