Urban Forestry (“S.A.F.E.R.”) Trail Self-Guided Walk
(We strongly recommend that you print this guide – along with a trail map! – before visiting us, as the supply at the information kiosk is replenished only occasionally)
URBAN FORESTRY TRAIL
DISTANCE: .45 mile / .72 km.
TRAIL MARKERS = Yellow blazes (North Trail)
Welcome to the Urban Forestry Trail, where you can learn how the “green infrastructure” provided by trees helps improve urban quality of life. Communities can offset the ecological impact of land development by utilizing the urban forest’s natural capacity to mitigate environmental impacts. Urban forests also provide social and health benefits for individuals, as well as economic benefits for communities. Trees provide important S.A.F.E.R. benefits to people who live in cities, suburbs, and towns. Look for white signs with brown lettering for an explanation of the S.A.F.E.R. acronym – Social, Aesthetic, Functional, Economic, and Recreational. Start on the east side of Bridge “I”. Follow the yellow blazes for .45 mile/.72 km.
Native trees are an important part of our natural heritage, and many are recommended for planting in challenging local urban forest conditions including: compact soil, limited soil volume, vertical and horizontal space restrictions, improper maintenance and dynamic coastal plain weather. Ten native trees that are well adapted to these conditions and recommended for planting are identified by white signs with green lettering. Four native trees that may present problems in urban landscapes are also highlighted with white and green signs. Assessing a planting location and choosing the right tree is an important tenet of urban forestry.
S.A.F.E.R. Tree Benefits include
Social: Mental and spiritual renewal, accelerated recovery from illness, higher workplace productivity, reduced crime
Aesthetic: Beautiful scenery, filtered light, color and texture, architectural enhancement
Functional: Storm water management, pollution absorption, erosion and wind control, wildlife habitat
Economic: Increased property values, reduced energy consumption, reduced storm water costs, increased retail activity
Recreational: Hiking, jogging, picnicking, camping, bird watching, nature study
For many more details on specific urban tree benefits see:
Planning the Urban Forest: Ecology, Economy, and Community Development James Schwab (Ed.), American Planning Assoc. Planners Press (2009)
Urban Forestry: Planning & Managing Urban Greenspaces Robert W. Miller, Waveland Press, Inc.; 2nd edition (2007)
Greenways for America (Creating the North American Landscape) Professor Charles E. Little, The Johns Hopkins University Press (1990)
Recommended Native Urban Forest Trees
1. Acer rubrum Red Maple
2. Amelanchier canadensis Serviceberry
3. Betula nigra River Birch
4. Carpinus caroliniana Ironwood
5. Cercis canadensis Redbud
6. Liriodendron tulipifera Tulip Poplar
7. Nyssa sylvatica Blackgum
8. Ostrya virginiana Eastern Hophornbeam
9. Quercus virginiana Live Oak
10. Taxodium distichum Baldcypress
Problem Native Urban Forest Trees
1. Acer negundo Boxelder
2. Juglans nigra Black Walnut
3. Populus deltoides Eastern Cottonwood
4. Ulmus americana American Elm
The Urban Forestry Trail was dedicated October 22, 2011 in recognition of the tireless and devoted service of Mik Lestyan to our nation, state, region, and city. (Major, USMC, Ret., Chesapeake Urban Forester 1996 – 2011, Chesapeake Arboretum President 2003-2005, proponent of the “S.A.F.E.R.” view of Urban Forestry)
Research, compilation & installation of trail notes and tree I.D. labels directed by Chesapeake Master Gardeners/Chesapeake Arboretum Education Committee members Ed & Linda Bradley, 2011.
We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Riverwalk Garden Club for trail signage on this project.
We hope your visit has been both informative and enjoyable, and we invite you to become a dues-paid Friend of the Chesapeake Arboretum, a non-profit, volunteer-operated “Nature’s Classroom”.