Forest Service Kicks Off My Neighborhood Forest Photo Contest
WASHINGTON, April 10, 2012 -- The U.S. Forest Service today announced its My Neighborhood Forest photo contest, celebrating America’s urban and community forests.
The Grand Prize winner will receive $200 in outdoor gear courtesy of the National Forest Foundation.
The contest, which runs from April 11 – July 22, seeks to highlight the natural beauty that spring and summer bring to U.S. neighborhoods, communities and cities, as well as the crucial role of trees in the places we call home.
Those interested in competing should visit Challenge.gov for more details on the prizes and contest rules.
Urban forests broadly include urban parks, street trees, landscaped boulevards, public gardens, river and coastal promenades, greenways, river corridors, wetlands, nature preserves, natural areas, shelter belts of trees and working trees at industrial brownfield sites.
“Urban forests are different from the forests you might normally think of, but they are functioning, hard-working ecosystems just the same,” said Tidwell. “As our neighborhoods warm up, trees add a crucial element of beauty to the places where we live, learn and work. We hope this photo contest will encourage people to go outside this season, and maybe they’ll learn a little more about their own neighborhood forests in the process.”
With 80 percent of the nation's population in urban areas, there are strong environmental, social, and economic cases to be made for the conservation of green spaces to guide growth and revitalize city centers and older suburbs.
Urban forests, through planned connections of green spaces, form the green infrastructure system on which communities depend. This natural life support system sustains clean air and water, biodiversity, habitat, nesting and travel corridors for wildlife, and connects people to nature.
The Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry office is actively engaged in more than 7,000 communities across the United States, providing technical, financial, research and educational services to local government, non-profit organizations, community groups, educational institutions and tribal governments.
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.
Founded by Congress in 1991, the National Forest Foundation works to conserve, restore and enhance America’s 193-million-acre National Forest System in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. Through community-based strategies and public-private partnerships, the NFF enhances wildlife habitat, revitalizes wildfire-damaged landscapes, restores watersheds, and improves recreational resources for the benefit of all Americans. The NFF’s Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences national conservation campaign is uniting public and private partners to conduct large-scale forest and watershed restoration and revitalize ecosystem resiliency in iconic National Forest System sites around the nation.