Offshoots recently discovered an organization called Biodiversity for a Livable Climate (Bio4Climate), the group responsible of the creation and succession of the Miyawaki Forests in Cambridge, MA. Bio4Climate was formed in 2013 when four climate activists bonded together to fight ecological degradation and climate change. The group has since grown to include scientists, policy markers, ecologists, and concerned citizens. Bio4Life takes a collaborative approach to advocating for the planet, and works with myriad partners toward the common goal of restoring the integrity of our planet’s ecosystems. Read more about Bio4Life here.
While out in the field, signage for Miyawaki Forests caught Kate’s eye! The term “Miyawaki Forest” refers to a Japanese method of growing trees and shrubs in an urban environment. The method involves planting 10 – 30 species of trees and shrubs together in a very dense area, using local materials to amend the soil as needed to optimize its growth capacity. Miyawaki Forests are known to grow 10 times faster than average tree farms and provide 20 times the biodiversity. The Miyawaki Forest in Danehy Park in North Cambridge was the first forest of its kind, and years later, several more pocket forest have popped up nearby. The forests are the fruits of Bio4Life’s partnership with the City of Cambridge. Bursting with color the forests are managed to maximize native biodiveristy and restore native plant communities in the heart of the city. The forest composition features a dense array of species, maximizing ecosystem services such as improving soil, water, and air quality; decompacting impoverished soils, reducing erosion and flooding, and providing pollinator habitat. The forests also provide an outdoor classroom for volunteers and residents to learn about the Miyawaki method. The Offshoots team is grateful and inspired by Bio4Life’s incredibly successful efforts to combat climate change right here in Boston.