Richard Allen Homes Get Shade Trees

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Youth from Richard Allen Homes and the Urban Technology Project joined forces to plant 19 yard trees.

By Guina Hammond and Dana Dentice

On November 15, PHS along with Philadelphia Housing Authority (PAL), U.S. Forest Service staff and 20 volunteers  — youth and adults from the Richard Allen Homes neighborhood, Urban Technology Project members from the School District of Philadelphia and other individuals — planted 19 yard trees in several back yards of the Richard Allen Homes in the West Poplar neighborhood in Lower North Philadelphia.

The trees that were planted included maple, gingko, honeylocust, London plane tree, oak, elm and Japanese tree lilac. These trees will provide increasing shade, beauty and energy savings to the residents as they grow.

The young people had fun planting and naming the trees and are eager to begin caring for them. Young members from the Urban Technology Project enjoyed their first tree-planting experience and are interested in getting their schools involved in tree planting as the regional Plant One Million program nears its 500,000th tree.

second richard allen tree planting photo for blog 11 25The Richard Allen Homes tree planting project was inspired by the success of the tree planting activities that took place last year in the Mill Creek community, a low- and moderate-income community that includes redeveloped PHA housing. The success of engaging residents, business owners, schools, churches, PHA leaders and PHA Resident Advisory Leaders in planting 150 trees throughout the Mill Creek neighborhood inspired PHS to continue its work in the PHA housing development sites of the Lucien Blackwell Homes in Mill Creek and the Richard Allen Homes in North Philadelphia.

Throughout these communities the tree canopy is very low and the health of the residents is compromised. Many residents in these communities want trees to help improve their health and well-being as well as to beautify their community. Therefore, it has been a great partnership for PHS and PHA to work together to plant trees and teach the residents about the many health benefits trees provide.

Additional residents in the Richard Allen Homes have expressed an interest in getting a tree for their property next spring and PHS is eager to continue work throughout the community. Residents will be invited to participate in  the Tree Tenders program as well as Garden Tenders training, too.

PHS thanks the following funders for helping to make this work possible: the Boeing Company, the Austelle Foundation, DCNR’s TreeVitalize program, and an anonymous donor.



Getting Down and Dirty with 1,200 Trees

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The SOSNA Green Tree Tenders group planted five street trees in Philadelphia on November 15. A total of 1,500 trees were planted by PHS Tree Tenders and volunteers in Southeastern Pa. Photo by SOSNA Green.

By Dana Dentice and Emma Melvin

We teamed up with our Tree Tenders partners over the last two weeks to distribute and plant 600 trees in Philadelphia and another 600 trees in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. These 1,200 bare root trees were planted along streets, as well as in yards, parks and school campuses as part of the Plant One Million campaign.

We’d like to give a big thank-you to all the volunteers, individuals, and funders who helped make this possible. We couldn’t have done this without your dedication, energy and love for trees. Whether you delivered or planted a tree, coordinated a tree planting event, or applied for a tree(s), your effort is much appreciated! We also thank our funders, the Boeing Company, the Austelle Foundation, DCNR’s TreeVitalize program, and an anonymous donor.

We had more than 30 Philadelphia Tree Tenders groups from neighborhoods all over the city getting down and dirty planting trees with and for their neighbors. Many were greening their neighborhood streets by planting city-approved trees in existing and newly cut tree pits. PHS also partnered with the Philadelphia Housing Authority, its residents, and the Urban Technology Project to plant 19 trees in the once shadeless backyards of Richard Allen Homes residents.

Bensalem tree planting 11 25Another 30 Tree Tenders groups planted trees in the counties outside of Philadelphia, including 100 trees planted at schools in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. On November 13, students from Cecelia Snyder and Shafer Middle Schools in Bensalem and the Phillie Phanatic came out to celebrate the Home Runs for Trees program, a partnership of the Phillies, Aramark and PHS, by planting a tree for every home run the players made in 2014. They planted 50 trees with us on the two school campuses to provide shade, beauty and improve the air quality around the schools for students and pedestrians. Watch the video.

PHS also partnered with Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) to restore the urban tree canopy on the school’s campus. With the help from professors, students and MCCC grounds staff, 50 trees were planted along roads and walkways within the campus on November 14. Volunteers conquered cold temperatures and wet soils to get the job done. PHS staff trained volunteers on proper planting techniques and assisted volunteers during planting to ensure the bare root trees will survive the winter and provide shade, stormwater reduction and beauty for years to come.

MCCC tree planting 11 25All trees were purchased as bare root stock from our good friends at Schichtel’s Nursery Inc. in Springville, New York. We love bare root trees for their light weight, lower cost, and more dense and intact root systems.

We can’t wait to see these 1,200 new trees leaf out next spring and hopefully grow to their full potential. Over the years, they will add to the region’s tree canopy and the many benefits that our urban forest provides our communities and neighborhoods.

A Tree Grows in Wilmington

St. Anthony's tree planting

Urban Forest Administrator from the Wilmington Department of Public Works, Mandy Tolino, planted a tree with students at St. Anthony of Padua Grade School in Wilmington to celebrate Arbor Day. Photo by Bob Hunt.

By Marion McParland

The Delaware Center for Horticulture, one of our lead partners in the Plant One Million campaign, celebrated Arbor Day with an event and tree planting at St. Anthony of Padua Grade School in Wilmington on Tuesday, April 29. In attendance at this year’s event were representatives of the Wilmington Department of Public Works, the Delaware Forest Service, the office of the City of Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams, and a few raindrops.

The focus this year was the environmental value of trees. Activities included information about tree climbing careers and safety with Kerns Brothers Tree Service, educational sessions with Ashley Peebles of Delaware Forest Service; and a proclamation by Claude McCrea, director, Wilmington Department of Parks and Recreation. Urban Forest Administrator with the Wilmington Department of Public Works, Mandy Tolino, planted a tree at St. Anthony’s with the students.

The Delaware Center for Horticulture strives to encourage environmental stewardship among Wilmington’s youth. PHS is pleased to partner with the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s TreePhilly program, the New Jersey Tree Foundation, the Delaware Center for Horticulture, and the DCNR TreeVitalize program to plant trees to help achieve our collective vision of a greener and healthier region. Click here to visit the Plant One Million website.






Take Me Out to the Ball Game!


Yesterday at Citizens Bank Park we planted a tree as part of our PLANT ONE MILLION campaign. Pictured, from left to right, are the Phillie Phanatic, PHS President Drew Becher, Phillies’ infielder Cody Asche, ARAMARK Regional Director Brian Hastings, and Phillies President David Montgomery.


By Marion McParland

Peanuts, Cracker Jack, hot dogs and trees! Yes, trees! Yesterday’s Phillies’ game marked the kick-off of the third season for our Home Runs for Trees” partnership between PHS, the Phillies, and ARAMARK. For every home run hit by a Phillies player at a home or away game this season, PHS will plant a tree in the fall. Since the inception of this program, PHS has planted 298 trees throughout the Philadelphia area.

PHS will also be giving away 200 free trees to Phillies fans this season. Register for your tree on the Phillies website.

“Home Runs for Trees” is part of the PLANT ONE MILLION campaign, an initiative led by PHS to restore the tree coverage in the Philadelphia region, as well as southern New Jersey and the state of Delaware. Next week, in honor of Arbor Day on April 25, PHS will be planting the 300,000th tree of the PLANT ONE MILLION campaign at St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls in Northeast Philadelphia. Over the weekend of April 26 and 27, PHS Tree Tenders will add 800 trees to the Philadelphia landscape.

You can support the PLANT ONE MILLION campaign by planting trees in your neighborhood or yard, or by making a donation.

For more information about PLANT ONE MILLION, please click here.

Chase Utley Stars in Plant One Million Promo

Chase Utley—the Philadelphia Phillies’ second-baseman and current home run leader—is ready for his close-up! In this short video, Chase speaks to the importance of “Home Runs for Trees.” If you’re unfamiliar with this important initiative involving Plant One Million, the Phillies, and ARAMARK, click below! Go Phils!

Plant One Million Announces Contest Winners!

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A heartfelt “thank you” to all who entered the Plant One Million Sweepstakes contest! The entries were touching, poignant, and sometimes just adorable, with trees being dedicated to a loved one’s memory, the Phillies, a newborn baby, and more. Our winner, Kathleen M., made a fabulous poster and said, “I can’t tell you how wonderful this endeavor by both PHS and the Phillies means to both myself and my neighbors, as well as our wonderful city [Philadelphia]. THANK YOU!”

Kathleen wins a Phillies Prize Pak that includes the home jersey of her favorite Phillies player (how will she choose?), a children’s book on going green signed by Hunter Pence, and a “Red Goes Green” shirt made from recycled bottles!

The five runners-up will receive a P1M Partners Pak (which also includes the coveted Hunter Pence autographed book). Those lucky five are Andrew R., Tracy T., Jeff P., Keith S., and Gary D. Watch Andrew’s video entry below.

Plant One Million is an ambitious multi-state tree-planting campaign, encompassing 13 counties in Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, and parts of New Jersey. To learn more and to add your newly planted tree to the count, click here.

Three PA Counties Receive 3,400 Trees

PHS has teamed up with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) to plant 3,400 trees in the City of Chester and Millbourne Borough in Delaware County, Norristown in Montgomery County, and New Hope Borough and Warminster Township in Bucks County. The trees were purchased with a grant from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVest), an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that provides funding for drinking water programs, storm water management, brownfield assessments, and more.

The planting areas include street corridors, parks, schools, municipal halls, and libraries. In addition to providing shade and energy savings, improving air quality, and revitalizing neighborhoods, the trees will also manage storm water runoff and reduce sewer overflows, protect stream banks, and improve water quality.

Tree-planting ceremonies were held in each community, with local and county officials on hand to promote and support the project. PHS President Drew Becher commented that “PHS is very grateful to PennVest for the generous funding of these plantings and to DVRPC for their partnership in improving the environmental and economic well-being of southeastern Pennsylvania. The trees that are being planted in these five communities are part of a unique multistate campaign, Plant One Million, which will include a wide variety of programs, events, and mass plantings.”

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Support Plant One Million through Science & Stories

Heads up, parents! The next few weeks offer several opportunities to celebrate Earth Day and discover Plant One Million with your family.

First off, make like a tree and “leaf” for the library! Children and their families are encouraged to join a “tree-mendous” program featuring story, song, and more at branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Be sure to bring your library card so you can borrow books, CDs, and DVDs afterward!

The dates, times, and locations are:

Saturday, April 14 at 11 am
David Cohen Ogontz Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library
6017 Ogontz Avenue (Church Lane & Ogontz Ave.), Philadelphia, PA 19141

Saturday April 14 at 1 pm
Wynnefield Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library
5325 Overbrook Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19131

Saturday, April 21 at 11 am
Falls of Schuylkill Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library
3501 Midvale Avenue (Warden Dr. & Midvale Ave.), Philadelphia, PA 19129

Saturday April 21 at 2:30 pm
Northeast Regional Library
2228 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19149

In addition to the library, another great place to learn about nature is the Philadelphia Science Festival. The Festival runs for a week, but the carnival on Saturday, April 21 from 11 am to 4 pm will feature more than 80 exhibitors, including Plant One Million. The carnival includes experiments, activities, and live entertainment along Logan Square in Center City Philadelphia. Check it out!

PHS Teams with the Phillies for Plant One Million

That’s right! PHS and the Phillies are working together to plant trees as part of Plant One Million!

First off: Phillies fans can sign up for a complimentary tree! If you are among the first 250 respondents, a PHS arborist will be in touch to help you pick out the right tree species for your site.

Tree distribution will take place on Sunday, April 22 from 1 – 3 pm at Citizens Bank Park. You must be registered in advance in order to receive a free tree.

A second way to get in on the Phillies fun is to enter the Plant One Million Spring Sweepstakes. Individuals who plant a tree and submit a photo and caption on could win a Phillies Prize Pak. Click here for details.

The ultimate goal of all this tree talk is to encourage people to plant trees this spring. Collectively we can increase the tree canopy cover—the area of land shaded by trees—in the tri-state area to 30%, the greatest coverage in more than a century.