DC Mayor Kicks Off the City’s Largest Tree Planting Season

Washington, DC (October 19, 2012) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) have announced the planting of 5,400 trees across all eight wards, in addition to the 1,000 trees already planted since the beginning of October. “This is an investment that will help grow a more sustainable DC,” said Mayor Gray. “Trees are so important to our quality of life and future generations will reap the benefits of the work we’re doing to expand the District’s canopy.” The announcement coincided with a Tree Canopy Symposium hosted by Casey Trees.

This tree canopy investment represents the largest single planting effort the Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) has undertaken. The Mayor also called on resident to adopt trees throughout the city through DDOT Canopy Keepers Program.

Research shows that trees can improve the quality of life in a community, beyond the obvious environmental benefits of cleaner air, reduced water runoff, and better aesthetics. Trees can also help reduce crime and have a positive impact on the economy.

UFA has already planted more than 1,000 trees since the beginning of October and will plant an additional 5,400 trees across all eight wards through the winter and into late spring. Planting locations are largely based on requests that were made by residents to the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center through July 2012.

The proposed locations and the specific species of trees to be planted can be viewed on DDOT’s Tree Planting Map. The planting schedule for specific neighborhoods will also be posted on the DDOT website at ddot.dc.gov/trees. The schedule is subject to change due to equipment, weather, emergencies, and other extenuating circumstances.

The Mayor also reminded community members that they can help expand the District’s tree canopy by partnering with UFA to tend to the new saplings. Residents are already responsible for maintaining property to the curb.  Those who go a step further and sign a Canopy Keeper partnership agreement to water, mulch, and monitor the health of specific trees in the first two years after planting, will receive free watering bags and instructions from UFA.

“Our goal is to sustain and increase our urban tree canopy,” said DDOT’s Chief Forester John Thomas. “To accomplish this we need community members to adopt these new trees to ensure they will survive and thrive.”

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