UC Green Celebrates NeighborWoods Month

(Philadelphia, PA)- UC Green will participate in National NeighborWoods Month when 300 community volunteers plant 100 street trees on Saturday, October 29 at 10 AM; re-greening formerly concrete-bound streets in West Philadelphia.

The trees come from Pennsylvania’s TreeVitalize partnership to restore tree cover in the five-county Philadelphia region. Over the next two years, UC Green will help coordinate the planting of 600 trees across University City neighborhoods: Cedar Park, Walnut Hill, Garden Court, Squirrel Hill, West Powelton, Saunders Park, Powelton Village, Spruce Hill, West Shore, and Kingsessing.
This event is one of dozens of re-greening efforts throughout the country being promoted during October, which has been declared National NeighborWoods Month by the national nonprofit, the Alliance for Community Trees (ACT). UC Green is a member of ACT’s NeighborWoods Network.
“It’s great to be working on an important re-greening effort locally, and to know we are part of a larger initiative,” said Amanda Benner, executive director of UC Green. “Community tree planting events help draw attention to the good work being done at the grassroots level all across the region and country to improve urban and community forests.”
Without adequate tree canopy coverage, communities are more likely to experience problems with watershed health and storm water overflow because the asphalt, concrete, and other impervious surfaces divert rather than absorb and recharge rainfall. The combined sewer systems typical of older northeastern cities easily become overtaxed or flooding becomes a more common event. An American Forests Urban Ecosystem Study recommends a minimum 40% tree canopy coverage in urban areas. Most of Philadelphia has less than 10%. TreeVitalize’s support of community tree plantings will help restore the tree canopy and provide other environmental, social, economic, and health benefits.
“Everybody likes trees, but in addition to the good feeling we get from them, they can raise property values, provide shade for cooling, help clean the air and can help slow the flow of water from land to rivers during periods of flooding.” Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said.
On Saturday, October 29, community volunteers from the Greater Philadelphia region including local University City residents, Drexel, University of Pennsylvania, and University of the Sciences in Philadelphia students, and local Tree Tenders trained by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, will converge to plant 100 trees along Powelton Avenue from 38th Street to 43rd Street.
Multiple other partners are working together on this project to make the community healthier and more beautiful, including: University City District, Saunders Park Green, West Powelton Concerned Citizens Council, People’s Emergency Center CDC, Fairmount Park Commission, American Cities Foundation’s Project Neat, YouthBuild Charter School, Presbyterian Medical Center, PA Urban and Community Forestry Council, and Morris Arboretum, among others.
“We’re thrilled to have UC Green participate in our first-ever NeighborWoods Month,” said ACT executive director Alice Ewen Walker. ACT has been in existence since 1993 as a problem-solving center for leaders of community-based urban forestry groups. Its founders share a vision of healthy, functioning urban ecosystems nurtured by a broad base of community stewards. Today, ACT is a growing alliance of 68 nonprofit organizations engaged in urban and community forestry. Its members are dedicated to grassroots community greening, public education, policymaking, job training, environmental design and other activities that support better urban forest stewardship.
October’s National NeighborWoods Month is sponsored with a generous grant from The Home Depot Foundation.
Kelly Caffarelli, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation, said “We are excited to partner with ACT on this initiative. Our foundation works with affordable housing and tree planting organizations across the country to promote livable, healthy and affordable communities. This partnership provides a terrific opportunity to further our goals.”
The Home Depot Foundation invests in nonprofit organizations that are in the business of building better communities. The Home Depot and many of the suppliers who help fill the company’s shelves contribute to The Home Depot Foundation to help fulfill their shared vision of creating stronger, healthier neighborhoods. The Foundation focuses its efforts in the areas of affordable, efficient and healthy housing production and rehabilitation and tree planting to restore urban and rural forests. See www.homedepotfoundation.org for more information.
UC Green promotes, coordinates, and supports, with its partners, volunteer community greening projects in University City neighborhoods. See www.ucgreen.org for more information.
TreeVitalize is a public private partnership, through regional collaboration, to address the loss of tree cover in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region. See www.treevitalize.net for more information.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Registration starts at 10 AM at Saunders Park, located at North 39th Street & Powelton Ave.
Tree planting takes place from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Powelton Avenue between North 38th and North 43rd Streets and surrounding blocks.
3616 Lancaster Ave. ~ Philadelphia, PA 19104-2604 ~ 215.573.4684 ~ fax 215.898.2167 ~ www.ucgreen.org
Media Contact:
Amanda Benner
UC Green, Inc.