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 a generous donor through Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors for their support.
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.
Another 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.
All 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.