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Learning how cities get new tress
November 13, 2023

By Eleanor Emlen Healthy Roar reporters | Have you ever wondered about the new trees that are planted in Philadelphia and how they got there?

Emlen Healthy Roar reporters recently learned about the Philly Tree Plan when they interviewed Marisa Wilson, an urban forestry community organizer with the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation department.

The Philly Tree Plan is a new 10-year strategic plan for planting and caring for trees in the city. Ms. Wilson worked with 28 community leaders and con- sultants to figure out where to plant trees. The goal is to plant trees in neighborhoods that need them.

In the past year, the city has given out around 2,000 trees to people around Philadelphia, Ms. Wilson said. They also are working with community groups, residents, and business owners to plant trees on blocks with a lot of businesses that don’t have many trees.

A report card will be used to keep track of the goals that they have set, Ms. Wilson said. The report card will be handed out every three years. If the goals aren’t met, it could mean that a goal has changed or community groups want to do something differently.

“Trees help us and the environment,” Ms. Wilson said. “They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. … They are also beneficial to our mental, physical, and spiritual health.”

Trees also connect together people in our community, she said.

Parks & Recreation also removes trees along streets and in parks that are a hazard in neighborhoods, so that could be along your street or in your park areas.

Trees are given to people for free by going to treephilly.org. If you are interested in receiving a tree, reach out and they will set you up with a tree.

Illustration by Coraline, Eleanor Emlen Healthy Roar.

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