What have trees done for you lately?
Maybe more than you think!
John Wilder, Park Manager, West Branch State Park
Abundant and versatile, trees are one of our most precious renewable resources. Without trees there would not be life as we know it. So the next time you see a tree, give it a big hug -- or at least say thank you!
Breathe! Did you know that most of the oxygen you breathe comes from trees? Trees take the carbon dioxide we exhale and combine it with water and sunlight to create oxygen.
Drink! Trees help cycle water as their leaves transpire moisture to the atmosphere, which collects in clouds and then falls as rain. Tree roots then filter the rainwater absorbed by the soil. Eventually, that water is drawn up into the leaves, and the cycle starts again. Lakes, rivers and underground aquifers in areas abundant with trees usually have cleaner water.
Eat! Trees provide us with a variety of tasty and nutritious foods. Fruits and nuts can easily be harvested right off the branch, and, with a little more effort, sap can be tapped to make syrup. Trees also produce about 150 billion tons of organic matter per year that enriches the soil and makes other plant crops grow more productively.
Sleep! Trees not only provide lumber to build our homes and furnishings, they also help keep us covered by providing the raw materials for synthetic fabrics such as rayon, used to make clothing and blankets.
Live long!Trees provide many medicines that help us stay healthy. Aspirin and some cancer fighting drugs come from trees. Trees are also the source for some vitamins and homeopathic products.
Enjoy life! Naturally, trees provide us with shade, wind blocks, homes for wildlife and scenic beauty. Economically, trees provide jobs for millions of workers and add value to our property. Trees provide us with products that improve our quality of life such as fuel for cooking and heating, paper and paper products, chewing gum, tires, crayons, recreational supplies, paint, glue, soaps, dyes, household cleaners, pine oil, musical instruments, furniture, toothpaste, shampoo, lotions, cosmetics, spices, soft drinks, baby food, and even twinkies!
OOPS! PARDON OUR MISTAKE! The moon phases in the last edition of Park Pals (Issue 8 Number 2, page 12) were reversed. The illustrations from left to right begin with a waning crescent, and end with a waxing crescent. There was also an error in the ?Moon Facts?. The moon does rotate on its axis, making one complete revolution each time it orbits the Earth. This is why we always see the same side of the moon.