Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

703-324-5033
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 448 Fairfax, VA 22035

Randy Bartlett,
Director

For the Love of Trees

Urban Forestry staff pose with Dogwood Elementary School students
Linda Barfield and Hugh Whitehead from Urban Forest Management (left) pose with Dogwood ES teacher Mark Moseley and his class. Students learned about the environmental and socioeconomic benefits trees provide and how to properly plant and care for them during a planting event in Reston, Va., on Nov. 28, 2017.

Urban forester Hugh Whitehead says it is important to provide adequate space for trees in urban development projects, a concept known as urban greening.

"Potential benefits of urban greening include improved mental and physical health; improved air quality, stormwater management, water quality, and public safety; strengthened economics, and improved social well-being," Hugh said. "Urban greening contributes to the achievement of many of the goals of successful urbanization, including: diverse, accessible transportation options such as walking, biking and using public transit; a network of parks, open spaces and trails; and balancing the need for infrastructure with opportunities for strengthening our economy and development," he said.

People have long recognized that nature in cities and towns provides beauty and respite. Pieter Anthony Sheehan, director of the Fairfax County Health Department’s division of environmental health, says, "Urban forests play an extremely important, multifaceted role in maintaining and improving not only the economic and environmental quality conditions of communities but the health of their inhabitants."

Increased urbanization does not and should not preclude nature. Urban greening creates more sustainable urban environments for everyone to enjoy.