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Edie Juno and John-Rob Pool, Global Forest Watch


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography, Health

Resource Type

  • Article

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

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  • This article demonstrates the importance of protecting forests by describing how forests near and far can help maintain water quality in cities.
  • Students will learn that inner forests help in stormwater management and infiltration, nearby forests assist in flood control, and faraway forests play a part in the global water cycle.

Teaching Tips


  • This article thoroughly describes the connection between cities, forests, and water, making it a great read for teaching about the interconnectedness of people and the environment.
  • Visually appealing infographics demonstrate concepts of the water cycle, water treatment, infiltration, erosion, and flood control.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should already be familiar with the water cycle and associated vocabulary such as infiltration, runoff, evaporation, and precipitation.


  • To learn more about this topic, students can explore the many links to additional resources throughout the article and share their findings with the class.
  • Students can discuss nature-based solutions and brainstorm additional examples of these to protect water quality.
  • Students can identify forests in or near their community and research ways they can help protect them.
  • For further investigation, your students could explore the Global Forest Watch Interactive Map.
Scientist Notes
This resource explores the benefits of sponge cities and watershed management in restoring and treating urban water to sustain the environment and mitigate climate change. The resource is valid and recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS2: Earth’s Systems
      • MS-ESS2-4 Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • Geography 1 (D2): Students understand the geography of the United States and various regions of the world and the effect of geographic influences on decisions about the present and future by using inquiry to predict and evaluate consequences of geographic influences.
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