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Cleveland was once known as the “Forest City.” But according to the U.S. Forest Service, urban tree cover is declining and scientists are now documenting how the loss of trees affects our health. This week ideastream begins a new series called “Healthy People, Healthy Places: Tracking the Trees.” Kay Colby kicks it off with a look at the history of trees in Northeast Ohio and the impact of their loss.
Wendy Wasman is the librarian and archivist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
“I’m going to open the archives of the Moses Cleaveland Trees.”
She’s retrieving the records of a Museum naturalist who in 1946 decided to do a tree census. She explains it was part of a tree census conducted by Arthur B. Williams.
“He decided he wanted to find trees still living when Moses Cleaveland first set eyes on the Cuyahoga River in 1796.” Wassman adds, “He had in mind to find 150 trees in honor of the 150th anniversary of that time.”
She pulls out a twelve page report. “This is the final report that Arthur B. Williams submitted. And this is where he lists all the geographical distribution of all trees listed. So in Forest Hills Park there were 13 in the East Cleveland side and four on the Cleveland Heights side.”
August 10, 2016