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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9200
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Urban Natural Resources Stewardship

Neighborhood Quality of Life

In addition to their effect on the medical health of city residents, urban trees also improve the social well-being of neighborhoods and mental health of residents. For many urbanites, street trees are about the only nature that they see regularly, and many work to protect “their” trees. Many are highly appreciative of opportunities to learn about urban forestry and tree care. Northern Research Station scientists are working to help urban land managers and planners need to understand the psychological, social, and cultural needs that trees and forests fulfill.

Selected Research Studies

[photo:] Side by side images of one large lot in Chicago that was converted to a playground. Photo by Paul Gobster, USDA Forest Service.Assessing the Benefits of Chicago's Large Lot Program
At the request of the City of Chicago, researchers at the Chicago Urban Field Station and University of Illinois led a program evaluation of large lots purchased in five community areas of the city during the first year of the Large Lot Program. The study area encompassed four community areas of Greater Englewood on the city’s south side and East Garfield Park on the west side. The study included two main components: a visual assessment of changes made in lot condition and care, and a social assessment of owners’ uses and perceptions of their lots and neighborhoods. This research summary focuses on the visual assessment component.


[image:] Baltimore Wood Project - Rethinking Wood in the City. Baltimore Wood Project
Through the Baltimore Wood Project, Forest Service Research & Development (R&D) and State & Private Forestry (S&PF) are working together with partners to rethink the value of what many consider to be urban wood "waste." Through this shared stewardship initiative, we are using urban wood as a catalyst toward achieving economic, social, and environmental sustainability goals.


[photo:] A bicyclist in Chicago's Lincoln Park.What Attracts and Repels Visitors to Urban Recreation and Environmental Education Sites?
We worked with Purdue University and the City of Chicago Department of Environment to find out what will influence people's decisions to visit or not visit the FCEC. We asked 411 Chicago-area residents about their recreation interests, their past visitation at some of the larger and more well-known recreation sites in Chicago, and what factors would cause them to recommend that friends visit or avoid specific sites.


Last Modified: 12/06/2022