Podparks is back for a second season!
This week on Podparks, we are analyzing the magic of trees, and why they have become so crucial in our lives.
Tim Geyer, Service Manager of Urban Landscapes at Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, shares the intricate role trees play in their environment. They regulate weather, improve air quality and regulate water flow. Trees are essential infrastructure for climate adaptation and city resilience, helping their surroundings soften the impact of weather events.
And as recent research suggests, trees are intricately connected to each other and to other organisms through mycorrhizal networks also known as the wood wide web. Throw a web of fungi that attach to tree roots, trees send water and nutrients to each other, as well as distress signals that prepare their communities for eventualities. This connection extends to humans, and as Tim explains, the mere presence of trees in our surroundings can have lasting effects on our physical and mental health.
Bishop Ngobeli, Conservation Manager of the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo, discusses the importance of fostering that connection between humans and trees through tree planting initiatives that assign purpose and meaning to nature around us. Bishop shares the successful programs he has created in Johannesburg, where communities began adopting trees in remembrance of COVID-19 victims and frontline workers. The result was a deeper connection between community members and their newly planted trees which then translated into better stewardship and care for them.
Jayne Miller, Chair of World Urban Parks, encompasses the power of trees in their tangible and intangible benefits, trees being both champions of sustainability and giving us “aha moments” that sustain us. As our experts conclude, the power of trees is only growing, and it is up to us to continue and improve their legacy by protecting current forests and planting future generations of trees in our urban environments.