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  • Writer's picturePlant Ahead Ohio

Developing A "Tree- Ethic"

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

At the March 14, 2022, board meeting Chris Flak of Plant Ahead Ohio urged the commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks to take a leadership role in the preservation and planting of trees:

Dear Mr. Young,

As you well know, we are in the midst of an existential environmental calamity, climate heating, that threatens the extinction of millions of species and our cherished way of life. The primary cause is the anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide, mostly from burning fossil fuels. The solution is also straight forward stop emitting CO2 and remove anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere.

Photosynthesis, especially by our forests, is the only effective human-enhanced mechanism that will remove and store CO2 from the atmosphere. Currently, our forests remove and store about 30% of the total CO2 emissions. It is incumbent upon all of us to maintain and expand the forest cover of the Mahoning Valley as part of our contribution to reducing climate heating.

The Mill Creek Metro Parks (MCMP) contains one of the largest contiguous forests in Northeastern Ohio. The expansion of the Park by land acquisition and development of natural areas through reforestation and wildlife habitat development is commendable and welcome. Thank you for this laudable program.

We urge the MCMP also to take a leadership role in illuminating the pending environmental crisis and establishing by word and deed the importance of trees to combat climate warming in every context - reforestation, urban canopies, and landscapes. We urge the MCMP to help establish a “tree ethic” that imbues in the hearts and minds of every citizen of the Mahoning Valley the value of all trees in combating climate heating. A “tree ethic” that encourages plantings and discourages cuttings trees. A “tree ethic” that requires a thorough, thoughtful justification before any tree is cut down. A “tree ethic” that recognizes the intrinsic value of trees.

Plant Ahead Ohio, the PAO, is a citizens non-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement of environmental quality of the Mahoning Valley and combating climate heating by reforestation, urban canopy expansion, and planting trees where ever feasible.


Lola Lewis, President PAO

Dr. Lauren Schroeder, Advisor to PAO, and retired professor of Biological Sciences, Department of Environmental Science at Youngstown State University

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