Climate, the planet, and health

Student Wins Climate Innovation Challenge with Tree Planting Initiative

School of Public Health student Megan Ryder earned first place in the 2024 BU Climate Innovation Challenge for her proposal for a community-driven tree planting initiative designed to curb Boston’s urban heat island effect.

Ryder’s Heatwise EcoEquity Initiative (formerly Micro Afforestation) will establish small forests in densely developed urban areas with the goal of improving residents’ quality of live by reducing ambient air temperatures and providing opportunities to connect with nature.

Ryder says she is most looking forward to collaborating with neighborhood schools to teach students about the effects of tree planting on their microclimate. She hopes to foster a citizen science program that encourages children to conduct observational research in the tiny forests established by her initiative.

Read more about Megan’s innovative work here.

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