THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

186

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

DESIGNATING APRIL AS TREE AWARENESS MONTH IN THE STATE OF HAWAII.

 

 


     WHEREAS, trees have been identified as an important tool to combat global climate change, reduce society's carbon footprint, and help communities become healthier; and

 

     WHEREAS, trees, commonly described as the lungs of the Earth, contribute to the environment by cleaning the air, removing odors and pollutant gases, filtering particulates, and removing and storing carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air; and

 

     WHEREAS, trees cool heat-absorbing streets and buildings by up to ten degrees Fahrenheit by releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves, which encourages residents to enjoy the outdoors, thereby improving their health, and contributes to more vital communities; and

 

     WHEREAS, studies show that trees in urban areas also encourage residents to spend more time outdoors under the canopy of trees where they can immerse themselves in a forest-like environment and soak in the atmosphere through their senses to achieve a feeling of rejuvenation; and

 

     WHEREAS, trees reduce UV-B exposure by almost fifty percent and provide protection to children from exposure to ultraviolet rays on school campuses and playgrounds where they spend hours outdoors; and

 

     WHEREAS, well-documented studies confirm the positive effects of trees on people's health and productivity, such as faster recovery times from surgery, lower blood pressure levels, higher performance and productivity for those with views of trees outside of their offices, and higher test scores and graduation rates for students with trees outside their school windows, as trees have been found to aid in concentration by reducing mental fatigue; and

 

     WHEREAS, trees in our island state are a crucial part of sustainable living and agricultural economy and harvesting agricultural products, such as fruit and wood, helps create green jobs for our residents and greater opportunities for small businesses; and

 

     WHEREAS, in our tourism-based economy, trees and landscaping contribute to the beauty of our urban areas and create a welcoming environment that attracts tourists, thereby increasing the flow of business to those areas; and

 

     WHEREAS, the United States Department of Agriculture reported that street trees increase property values and that planting large trees along streets, sidewalks, and parking lots also help absorb heat, energy, and dust; mask concrete walls and unsightly views; muffle sounds from freeways; create an eye-soothing canopy of green; and foster civic pride within neighborhoods; and

 

     WHEREAS, state and community organizations have endeavored to foster knowledge and awareness of trees, and collectively have declared that "trees literally hold our island state together, helping define our island sense of place, that special connection between our diverse cultures and the environment, the land and its people"; and

 

     WHEREAS, according to Dr. Camilo Mora of Mora Lab of the Geography and Environment Department at the University of Hawaii who heads the Carbon Neutrality Project, Arbor Day is but one day to help raise awareness of trees and that designating the entire month of April as Tree Awareness Month would raise greater awareness and adequately recognize the multitude of benefits and importance trees have, particularly in an island state that depends heavily upon sustainability and tourism; and

 

     WHEREAS, the public should be encouraged to learn more about the value of trees and designating April as Tree Awareness Month would be an appropriate way to honor trees while also providing community building and educational and economic opportunities through planned events; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that April be designated as Tree Awareness Month in the State of Hawaii; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Chairperson of Board of Land and Natural Resources, and mayors of all counties.

Report Title: 

April; Tree Awareness Month