The City of Asheville Parks & Recreation Department, in partnership with Asheville GreenWorks, has launched a new initiative to plant trees at all seventy-four city owned recreation facilities over the course of the next three years. The initiative is aimed at celebrating how trees enhance our environment and our community. Trees of all different varieties will be planted with a goal of incorporating trees appropriate to the location.
To kick off the initiative the department is excited to announce the “30 Trees in 30 Days” program. Beginning at 4:00 p.m. on March 28 at the Shiloh Complex (121 Shiloh Road) members of the Parks & Recreation Department, volunteers with Asheville GreenWorks and community members will gather to plant the first three trees. Additional events will be held at the Grant Center, Carrier Park, Aston Park, Riverside Cemetery and Recreation Park throughout the month of April. The program will culminate on Arbor Day, April 28.
Roderick Simmons, Parks & Recreation Director states, “Through this three-year tree initiative, the Parks and Recreation Department demonstrates its commitment to improving the appearance of our community and our environment. Planting these trees at our parks and facilities creates a lasting legacy.”
Benefits of Trees
In January of 2016 the Asheville City Council created a 20-year vision for the city. Part of this vision included a dedication to a clean and healthy environment. Trees play a direct role in accomplishing this vision.
- Trees directly combat climate change by absorbing CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air.
- Trees clean the air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
- Trees cool the city by up to 10° by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands” and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.
- Trees provide food in the form of fruits and nuts. An apple tree can yield up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year.
Mark Foster, City Arborist, states “Trees contribute substantially to the quality of life in a community, in both measurable ways and more abstract ones. Their shade and wind buffering help control the micro-climate of a city. They slow storm water down on the way to drainage systems allowing more water to enter the local water table rather than just running off. They anchor the ground on steep slopes. Finally, they give our community a sense of place and soften the harsh lines of our built environment.”
Want to learn more or be a part of the program?
For additional information on the Park’s Tree Initiative and to learn about events associated with the “30 Trees in 30 Days” program please click here.
If you are a community organization or individual looking to volunteer with the tree initiative please contact Sandra Travis at STravis@ashevillenc.gov or 828-259-5841.