There’s something magical about a forest. It’s the setting for epic adventures and amazing journeys in countless fairy tales and stories, but the land of fairy tales isn’t the only place where forests are magical. Real-life forests are magical too because they do so much for us! Here are our top 10 reasons why forests are magical.
1. Forests are a Breath of Fresh Air
With a little help from the sun and a process called photosynthesis, trees are able to provide us and other animals with fresh air! They absorb the carbon dioxide (CO₂) we breathe out and transform it into clean oxygen (O₂).
Did you know that one fully grown tree can provide enough oxygen for 2 to 10 people every day?! Breathe in… Breathe out… and say thank you to a forest!
2. Forests are Home Sweet Home
Whether it’s insects in the leaf litter, a bird in a tree or a squirrel jumping from branch to branch, you’re bound to see some sort of animal when you visit a forest. That’s because 2/3 of all the animal species in Canada call forests home. Now, that’s an important habitat worth protecting!
3. Forests Keep Things Cool
It always feels so refreshing to cool off in the shade on a hot day—and the bigger the tree, the better the shade. But that’s not the only way trees and forests help us stay cool.
In cities, trees that are grown close to buildings help keep the indoors cool by blocking the hot sun from streaming into windows, reducing the need for air conditioners.
Studies have also shown that forests help encourage rainfall. This not only cools down the environment but also helps the growth of new trees!
4. Forests Help in the Fight Against Climate Change!
CO₂ is one of the greenhouse gases responsible for speeding up climate change. And what’s helping to slow it down? Forests!
Like we said earlier, trees help absorb the CO₂ we breathe out, and when you have a whole bunch of trees together, their CO₂ absorbing powers get stronger! Forests are so good at absorbing CO₂ that they are the second largest carbon “sink” in the world, meaning they absorb more CO₂ from the atmosphere than they release. When it comes to the fight against climate change, we’re glad we have forests on our side.
5. Forests Give Us Lots Things
Whether it’s the paper you use for taking notes, the cartons that hold your eggs or even the lumber used in your home, so many of the things we use every day come from forests.
Forests give us lots of great things and we think it’s time to show our appreciation by turning those things into something new! Accept the Fantastic Crafts and When to Make Them Mission for some awesome crafts that you can make from materials that come from trees!
6. Forests Clean Water
There’s nothing more refreshing than a cool drink of water. Did you know that you have the forest to thank for that too? The leaves on trees absorb rainfall and slowly release it into the soil, where it is filtered underground and eventually released into nearby lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. About 2/3 of Canadians rely on drinking water from forest runoffs!
7. Forests Help the Soil Stay Put
Soil has a very important job when it comes to keeping an ecosystem healthy: it provides nutrients for plants and helps protect their roots. If the soil starts to wear away (erode) or dry up, it doesn’t just hurt the plants, it hurts the entire ecosystem.
Here’s where forests come in. They are great at protecting the soil because their leaves and branches catch raindrops as they fall, lowering the amount of rainfall that hits the ground at the same time. This prevents the soil from flooding and washing away.
The tree branches also provide shelter from the wind and protection from the hot sun, which stops the soil from blowing away or drying out.
8. Forests Give Us a Way of Life
Forests aren’t just important to Canada’s plants and animals—they also provide jobs to almost a million people (directly and indirectly) across the country! For engineers, foresters, biologists, skilled tradespeople and many others, it just makes sense to make sure forests are kept healthy and managed sustainably. And on top of the many jobs forests give us, they also provide us with lumber for building things and fiber for making things like paper.
9. Forests are Good for the Soul
Do you ever feel refreshed and re-energized after playing among the trees? Studies have shown that being out in forests can improve your immune system, decrease stress and blood pressure, and improve your overall mood!
10. Forests Always Draw a Crowd
There are over 40 national parks and 1000 provincial parks in Canada, each with their own unique qualities to discover. Whether you’re exploring waterfalls in Fundy National Park (New Brunswick), searching for wildlife in Yoho National Park (British Columbia), or climbing Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan, in Kluane National Park and Reserve (Yukon), Canadian forests have the ability to draw us in with their natural beauty.
Accept the Fantastic Crafts and When to Make Them Mission today!
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