Human-environment interaction is how humans influence and are influenced by their surrounding environment. An example is living on a farm versus living in a city. There are two main questions to human-environment interaction and they are: How are people’s lives shaped by place where they live? and How has a place been shaped by human activity. As a result, I will tell you some interesting facts about Woodside that involves human-environment interaction. Humans possess the abilities to make and to transform things taken from nature. They interact with the environment by adjusting to climate conditions and by making active changes to places around them. Let us explore what had happened when an area called Woodside was discovered by new Americans, and what Human-Environmental Interactions were initiated by the humans there. Woodside is a neighborhood in the borough of Queens, which is located in New York City. It shares borders with the towns of Astoria, Maspeth, Sunnyside, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. The first settlers that came to Woodside in 18th century were farmers.
They discovered that the sloping grounds and the climate conditions in the area were appropriate for growing crops and raising cattle. Lots of trees had to be taken down to make room for farm land. Destruction of wooded areas, created by humans, contributed to the extinction of wild life as a direct result of a natural habitat loss. At first, Woodside was a swamp in the 17th and 18th centuries. Later, in the 19th century settlers drained the land. The environment influenced humans by the gravity by keeping everything and us on the ground, instead of floating in the air. The storms in Woodside created blackouts and loss of power and internet. In the second part of 19th century Woodside’s environment took another significant change due to a large residential development. Rows of houses were built, destroying more trees and fertile soil, to accommodate new comers: families of Irish Americans. By the 1930s about eighty persent (%) of the neighborhood population were Irish.
During the 20th century farms were quickly disappearing as roads, train tracks, schools, churches, stores, and commercial buildings were erected. Less space was left for parks and green grass to grow. Some private houses were taken down to accommodate apartment buildings, making the area to be even more populated. The new people that arrived in bigger numbers and different diversities (Italians, Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos, Latinos, Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis) were settling in Woodside and were attracted by the close proximity to Manhattan, availability of jobs at factories and the well-developed transportation routes.
The amount of busses and cars needed to move people around had to grow as well, which contributed to air pollution with toxic fumes. The Woodside that we know today is a vibrant community with many cultures mixed together. People of the neighborhood have to learn the importance of human interaction with the environment. They have to be more responsible and take actions to reduce negative impacts on the community by consuming less, recycling, choosing cleaner fuels to fill cars and heat homes, planting more trees. Each of us by contributing a small part can help to build a better and cleaner future for all, who call Woodside home.