By June Fink, age 10
Mariano Fuentes, Madrid’s councilor of environment and urban development, announced plans to build an urban forest surrounding the city to combat the city’s heat and improve air quality. The “greenway” will be made up of nearly half a million trees, which will not only potentially lower the temperature by two degrees, but will absorb greenhouse emissions generated by city pollution.
The trees will circle around the 46-mile perimeter of the city, providing shade for miles. The forest will also provide a lot of oxygen, making it easier to breathe. The stalks of wood and leaves that will make up the greenway will be Spanish junipers, black pine, beech and several oak species. These native trees are low maintenance and require little water.
Fuentes not only hopes that the trees will provide lots of oxygen, but he also hopes they will absorb 175,000 tons of CO2 per year, helping to combat climate change.