Shovel … Check. Trees … Check. Tighter-knit Communities … CHECK!
The Philly Tree People and other various tree tender groups planted hundreds of trees in Fishtown, Port Richmond, Northern Liberties, Kensington and other parts of Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday.
About 50 planting groups were at work in the city with the intent of making safer, more aesthetic communities. These groups planted a total of 1200 trees all throughout Philadelphia.
“We have done this for a number of years and it is the most feel good feeling you can imagine,” the Project Manager of Tree Tenders from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Mindy Maslin, said.
Jacelyn Blank, the Project Manager of the Philly Tree People also said, “Our non-profit organization has been in operation for four years now, helping property owners in the 19125 and 19134 zip codes get trees for their sidewalks and/or yards ever since. We have planted over 700 trees with the help of volunteers.”
The Kensington South Tree Tenders planted 50 trees on Saturday from Front to 6th Street while The Philly Tree People planted 114 trees in the Fishtown area and neighboring towns. Another group planted 28 trees in Northern Liberties on Saturday beginning at the Community Center.
“I am very excited to get my tree,” said local volunteer Kristen Lampe, who was also receiving a tree at her house. “Our house is hot in the summer and I think the tree will provide shade and help our energy cost in the future. I also have two kids and there is nothing like growing up around trees.”
People of any age or ability were invited to join the groups in the massive tree planting.
“We encourage the community to come out and help with the planting. We hope people see what we’re doing and maybe come out to join the local group in their neighborhood,” Maslin said.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society stresses the importance of trees in neighborhoods because they provide areas with so much more than aesthetic value.
“It’s not just about planting trees, it’s about neighborhood revitalization. It’s about neighborhood empowerment and getting neighbors to come out and work together and get to know each other,” Maslin said.
That’s not all though. Trees even help people cope with personal difficulties such as Attention Deficit Disorder or even Asthma.
“Not only do they help purify our air, help storm water runoff and decrease flooding, but there is all this research out on how trees help kids with Attention Deficit Disorder to get exposure to nature and focus longer. It also helps people with asthma. Research proves that neighborhoods without trees have a higher rate of people with asthma,” Maslin said.
Community safety is another subject the PHS would like to harp on. Trees can provide people with a reason to sit on their porch and enjoy a pleasant view, and in turn the community receives another helping eye as a watchdog for crime.
If you would like to register for a tree to be planted in the future, you can log onto www.PhillyTreePeople.org and look for the link, “Philly Tree People Property Owner Tree Request Form (DOC)”or (PDF); once you download the form, fill the information out and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax it to: 215-656-4975; or mail to:
Philly Tree People c/o Nykia M. Perez, 2125 E. Norris Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125.