We are in the middle of the largest migration in history. For the first time ever, more than half of the world's people live in urban areas. So what, then, is nature's role in a city? Perhaps the most exciting glimpse of what nature can mean for cities is emerging from scientists who find that a little bit of urban nature helps people truly flourish. A 2015 study in Barcelona found that green spaces around schools improve the mental development of young children. A Toronto study showed that increasing the number of trees on a street significantly improves resident health.*
Our students are building "green infrastructure" at several Long Beach schools by planting schoolyard habitats with plants that function as naturally occurring plant communities. We believe that nature can help make cities healthier, more resilient and more appealing places to live - and that we can conserve nature not from cities, but for cities.
*The Nature Conservancy, Feb/March 2016