Sustainable Arlington

An Envision Arlington committee & a Mass. Climate Action Network (MCAN) chapter

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Why Trees Matter for Green Development, 4/21, 7 pm

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Senator Ed Markey will give the introduction to this event.

2024.4.21 Why Trees Matter

Register here to be kept informed and receive the Zoom link.


The Trees as a Public Good Network (founded by ORMA and its allies) will host a forum on this critically important topic.

Critically important right now, as the MBTA Communities Act seeks to establish zoning to permit denser housing adjacent to MBTA transit lines. How do we address this important goal, getting cars off the road, while ensuring that the existing natural environment continues to protect us from fossil fuel generated carbon, and the assorted consequences of climate change including increasing flood risks, and heat islands?

Our presenters are scientists and climate and community activists who are dealing with these questions on a daily basis. Join us for a discussion of the challenges of encouraging development that supports a fossil-fuel-free future while preserving the natural environment that ensures human habitability.  

They will outline how to make development truly climate friendly and “green” by preserving the crucial climate services provided by trees in urban areas and in wild forests. To ensure a livable future for all of us, we need trees and the watersheds they sustain, alongside development of solar energy, denser and more affordable housing, and other necessary infrastructure. Register here to join us for this urgently needed discussion.


  • Prof. William Moomaw (Tufts University) presents the scientific evidence on why large-scale solar must be responsibly sited.
  • Meg Sheehan (Community Land and Water Coalition) will present a case study from southeastern Massachusetts where hundreds of acres of endangered forests (the Pine Barrens) have been clear-cut for strip mining silica sand used in the production of solar panels, followed by the placement of large-scale solar panels. This project has been falsely labeled a “green” solar project, despite its destructive impact on carbon sequestration. 
  • For urban trees, Dr. Zbigniew Grabowski (New School and the University of Connecticut) will present the science on why denser housing development needs to accommodate existing mature trees or risk heat islands, flooding, and increased air pollution. Mimi Turchinetz (Hyde Park Neighborhood Association) will discuss residents’ concerns over zoning that encourages greater housing density without requiring allowances for green infrastructure (trees, waterways, etc.).
  • Aalana Feaster (Environmental Health is Wealth Coalition) will highlight the struggle of residents in the environmental justice community of Dorchester fighting the clearcutting of four wooded acres to put in an artificial turf field.

Register here to be kept informed and receive the Zoom link.

We need solar energy, denser and more affordable housing, AND the crucial climate services provided by trees in urban areas and in forests. The science shows that if we cut trees for large-scale solar and for wall-to-wall housing density, the net result is not green. With some basic requirements to accommodate existing green infrastructure, we can ensure that much-needed development lessens—rather than provokes—climate change.

ORMA Climate Crisis Working Group (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)




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Sustainable Arlington uses a Google Group to conduct its discussions and facilitate communications within the SA community.  To join our Google Group please click here!

Other Events

12 Jun 2024;
02:00PM - 06:30PM
Arlington Farmers' Market; Opening Day!

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