Two Miyawaki forests in Cambridge, the first in the northeastern US, give “grounded hope” to Maya Dutta, the software developer turned environmental activist who managed both planting projects. “As you do restoration on a landscape, you can start to see [beneficial] effects take place in a matter of years,” she says. “There are actual pathways to a future in which I can live and have a good life.” Miyawaki forests are dense, multilayered plantation of native plants that aim to fully re-create growth that existed before deforestation. Hundreds have been planted worldwide in recent years, The tiny forest packs 900 saplings into 1,400 square feet. Its 50 native plant species not only sequester carbon and cool the air, but also support insects. “The overarching goal is to help nature regenerate more quickly than it would without our help,” says professional forest-planter Ethan Bryson, a consultant for the project.