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Holden Forests & Gardens Makes Commitment to Mitigate Detrimental Effects of Climate Change

Tue., Apr. 19, 2022

Leading up to Earth Day 2022, Holden Forests & Gardens (HF&G) has adopted a climate change statement recognizing that climate change is real and providing facts and information about climate change, its implications, and some ways we are working to mitigate climate change at the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Holden Arboretum. We hope this can be a helpful resource for people still trying to understand this complicated topic.

The full statement is here, along with additional resources. 

The climate is currently changing at an unprecedented rate and will continue to do so into the future. This on-going climate change is the direct result of human activities and is having significant and measurable impacts on the natural world here in northeast Ohio and around the globe. These impacts are reducing biodiversity, affecting the resilience and function of ecosystems, and impacting human health and welfare.

The current changes in our climate are unparalleled and are the result of increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are now at their highest level in at least 800,000 years. At least half of current warming can be attributed to greenhouse gases produced by human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas.

What is HF&G doing to combat climate change?

HF&G manages for resilient and biodiverse forests that will be better able to withstand future climate changes. HF&G owns more than 3000 acres of natural areas that remove (sequester) approximately 14,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year (i-Tree estimates, courtesy of the Davey Institute, US tons reported).

Scientists at Holden Forests & Gardens actively conduct research to enhance our understanding of effective forest management practices now and as the climate continues to change.

Our “People for Trees” campaign seeks to increase tree canopy cover in Cleveland, mitigating the urban heat island effect and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. This will create a greener, healthier environment in our communities.

HF&G is changing its general operation over the next three years to reduce CO2 emissions. Actions include:

  • Encouraging staff to carpool, take mass transit, or telecommute when possible.
  •  All new building or renovation will reduce energy use by at least 25%.
  • On-site food sales will shift to reduce carbon emissions. At least 40% of menu items will be vegan or vegetarian, and we will source 10% of our offering from a 100-miles radius from our campuses.

Join us in our commitment. This is what you can do.

  • Join our “People for Trees” campaign and plant a tree in your yard or community. Pledge to plant your tree at holdenfg.org/people-for-trees. Trees help mitigate the effects of climate change and improve the environment. Our Tree Selection Guide is a comprehensive list of trees for our region compiled by Holden experts. Visit our website at https://holdenfg.org/resources/tree-selection-guide/.
  • For individuals who own several acres or more of forested lands, our Working Woods program offers advice and state of the art recommendations for how to improve your woodlot, so trees thrive now and into the future. Our new Small Woodland Owner Guide -FREE- makes taking care of your forest easier to tackle and manage for the long and short term.

You can also take a class to learn more about the natural world around us in Northeast Ohio. For a list of classes, visit holdenfg.org

About People for Trees™

Holden Forests & Gardens Launched People for Trees in early 2021 to aim to have 15,000 trees planted and cared for by 2025 throughout Northeast Ohio. To date, more than 1,000 people have pledged to plant more than 4,000 trees.One of the most significant things we can do to combat the effects of a changing climate right here in Northeast Ohio is to plant a tree in backyards, at businesses and in neighborhoods. Make your pledge at holdenfg.org/people-for-trees and you will become a part of the regional movement to reverse the trend of tree loss in Northeast Ohio. To learn more, visit holdenfg.org.

About Holden Forests & Gardens
Holden Forests & Gardens is made up of two of Northeast Ohio’s most important environmental and cultural institutions — the Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden — whose mission is to connect people with the wonder, beauty, and value of trees and plants, to inspire action for healthy communities.  The 14th largest public garden in the country, Holden Forests & Gardens has over 17,000 member households and an annual attendance of over 350,000 for whom we strive to provide inspirational and educational visitor experiences. For more information, visit holdenfg.org.

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