Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Let's Restore the Region's Tree Canopy

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Let's Restore the Region's Tree Canopy

Article excerpt

Tree Pittsburgh, local municipalities, other local and national environmental groups and volunteers have partnered for more than a decade to engage communities in tree planting.

In light of the Post-Gazette's Feb. 28 article "Tree Canopy Loss in Allegheny County 'Significant'," it is imperative that we continue the conversation and work to rebuild our region's tree canopy.

Upon learning about the loss to our canopy - 10,148 acres over a five-year span between 2010 and 2015 - Tree Pittsburgh and its partners jumped into action. Tree Pittsburgh grew its own tree-planting program, increasing from 500 trees planted annually to more than 5,000 planted annually in 2016 and 2017.

We are working with neighborhoods and municipalities to develop comprehensive urban-forestry plans, including code review, public-works training, tree-planting strategies and community engagement.

And we're not the only ones: Mayor Bill Peduto convened a special task force to address tree protection across all city departments, and the Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission will be proposing revisions to the city code to our city officials. The Allegheny County Health Department has been supporting tree-planting efforts, and, as outlined in its own letter, ?Allegheny County Parks ?Foundation, working with Allegheny County Parks, ?has engaged volunteers and partners to begin to restore the parks' lost canopy.

Municipal officials, landowners, land- and water-conservation groups and passionate volunteers across the county are working to protect and replace our trees.

We must support and join these efforts in order to reverse our canopy loss. If we all work together, we can restore the canopy and protect and improve the condition of our remaining trees and forests. The best way to get started is to plant a tree or two right on your own property. For tips on how to plant a tree, visit www.treepittsburgh.org.

ANNE FRANKS

Board President

Tree Pittsburgh

Lawrenceville

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