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Credit: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
PHILADELPHIA, PA – April 12, 2021 – On April 20-25, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) will plant 950 trees in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania during this Earth Month and leading into Arbor Day. Working with over 75 of its regional Tree Tenders groups and community organizations in addition to hundreds of neighborhood volunteers to come together, these plantings will take place at over 80 unique tree planting events in the 10-county region. This semi-annual initiative by PHS helps to increase the region’s tree canopy and promote healthier, greener neighborhoods.
A key component of PHS’s far-reaching neighborhood greening activities, the PHS Tree Tenders offer tree planting education and tree care training throughout the year. Participation in PHS’s Tree Tenders education program and in plantings brings neighbors together while creating healthier, more sustainable living spaces for communities. Since 1991, PHS has trained more than 5,000 people to become Tree Tenders, who have gone on to lead volunteers in planting almost 2,000 trees each year.
Yet, the Greater Philadelphia region still needs more trees. While a “good” tree canopy coverage (the area of land shaded by trees) is considered to be 30% of land area, the city of Philadelphia only has 20% coverage and as little as 2.5% in some neighborhoods. PHS is committed to increasing the tree canopy, in this region, especially in neighborhoods with few trees and high average temperatures. Throughout the year, PHS works with more than 100 volunteer Tree Tender groups to plant and care for trees in the Philadelphia region.
Interested volunteers are encouraged to find a local event in their region and participate in a tree planting, which typically lasts about 2-3 hours on location. No experience is required but everyone is asked to bring a mask, hand sanitizer, gloves, close-toed shoes, a shovel if you have one, and a water bottle. Supplies for plantings will be available onsite, including shovels, pickaxes, brooms, trash bags, and more. Participants are also asked to dress for the weather as plantings will happen regardless of weather.
To learn more about volunteering for this event, please visit: https://phsonline.org/programs/tree-programs/get-involved
1. Visit the Map of Spring 2021 Tree Tenders Planting events.
2. Find a location that still needs volunteers by clicking the GREEN location pins on the map. Note: some locations have already met the required number of volunteers.
3. Register to volunteer via the link in the pop up.
4. Find your location, date, and time on the calendar.
5. Click "Sign Up" and follow directions on how to register.
Open Media Location:
For media interested in attending and covering a tree planting, PHS, in partnership with Dynegy, will be planting 13 trees on Earth Day, April 22nd from 1:00-3:00 PM at Mary McLeod Bethune School at 3301 Old York Road in North Philadelphia. This planting is part of a two-year Dynegy Trees for Growth initiative, which will add 100 trees to the public elementary school’s campus, as well as more than two dozen trees to the community blocks adjacent to the school. The initiative is a partnership between PHS, Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary, and Dynegy.
This project will increase the community’s tree canopy, adding more green space and shade to the North Philadelphia neighborhood, where temperatures are at least 4 degrees higher than the city average. The outdoor event will adhere to all public health and social distancing guidelines issued by the City of Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Covid-19 Safety Best Practices
The safety of our PHS volunteers, Tree Tenders leaders, and staff is always our top priority. Despite the challenges our communities face during the Covid-19 pandemic, we follow strict best practices for safety by minimizing the risks for everyone involved. These include:
• Follow all standard pandemic precautions: Masks, social distancing, and frequent use of hand sanitizer.
• Minimize the number of people gathered in one space as well the time they’re gathered there.
• Keep as much activity as possible outdoors.
• Ask participants to stay home if they have symptoms or have had exposure to someone who does or has been diagnosed.
TREE TENDERS PLANTING SPONSORS
Many organizations help advance PHS’s work to create healthy living environments and build deeper social connections in the city and region. Major support for PHS Tree Tenders programs, PHS Tree Tenders plantings, and the PHS effort to restore the area’s tree canopy is made possible by PECO.
Additional sponsors include: AQUA Pennsylvania, Bartlett Tree Experts, the HBE Foundation, Penn Treaty Special Services District, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forestry Council, Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity, Philadelphia Division of Housing and Community Development, and the Philadelphia Phillies.