Close Subscribe

Get the Weekly Recap!!

Get recaps, exclusive offers, stories and discounts. We’ll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time, we promise.
Parks & Rec wants your input to get to the “root” of mistrust of Trees
News

Parks & Rec wants your input to get to the “root” of mistrust of Trees

Philly residents have a love-hate relationship with its trees. The city launched a campaign to address the decline in the city tree canopy.

Philly is in desperate need of trees. The city has lost 6% of its tree canopy cover in the last 10 years, according to a 2019 Tree Canopy Assessment Report. This loss can contribute to increasing temperatures, poorer air quality, and lack of overall green space.

The City of Philadelphia announced the Philly Tree Plan, an initiative to support the replanting and care of the city’s tree population, last year.

However, city residents have a complex relationship with its trees. “Trees can be a source of joy for residents. They can also be a source of stress,” according to Erica Smith Fichman, the project lead and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Community Forestry Manager.

To address the “root” of hesitation, the City has launched a public engagement campaign to interview neighbors, conduct digital surveys and hear from residents.

How to Get Involved in the City Tree Plan

Philly Tree Plan survey

Taking the Philly Tree Plan survey is a quick and easy way to give feedback on the Philly Tree Plan. The survey, which will take about 7-10 minutes to complete, asks Philadelphians how they feel about the state of the city’s trees. Data from the survey will be used to inform the Tree Plan’s recommendations.

Join a Photography Challenge

If you love photography and have a tree-related story you’d like to share, consider participating in the #PhillyTreeStories photography challenge. Take a picture of a tree, post it on Instagram with the hashtags #PhillyTreeStories and #PhillyTreePlan, and add a caption explaining the story behind the tree. Winners will be eligible to win a $200 cash prize and lots of Philly Tree Plan swag!

Virtual Open House

To learn more about the Philly Tree Plan and Philly’s urban forest, check out one of three virtual, self-guided “open house” presentations. The three presentations are titled as follows:

  • Philly’s Urban Forest: What is the urban forest and why does it matter?
  • The Unfair Forest: A history of development and systemic racism
  • A Plan for Equity: How the Philly Tree Plan will make the benefits of the urban forest more equal across the city

Once you’re done viewing each presentation, you can join the conversation in the Tree Plan’s comments section.

Neighbors interviewing neighbors

A team of Neighborhood Ambassadors will engage in person with members of communities in five high-priority neighborhoods, selected based on environmental justice criteria, including proximity to industrial areas, air quality, public health, and demographics. The ambassadors will conduct interviews with neighbors and perform visual storytelling exercises.

The public engagement efforts are active now through mid-June. Want to stay up to date? Join the Philly Tree Plan mailing list to receive updates.

What’s the Philly Tree Plan?

The Philly Tree Plan aims to alter city policy to protect trees from development and climate change while balancing unequal tree distribution and its effects on public health and quality of life. Dialogue with the public is an important part of the plan, as it prioritizes communication and aims to work towards preservation that best supports the city’s communities.

“Trees are vital to our health, happiness, and quality of life,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “They help keep our air cleaner and make our neighborhoods stronger and more beautiful. The Philly Tree Plan will set us on the path to bringing the benefits of trees to communities that need them most.

A draft of the Philly Tree Plan will be presented to the public for further input in September 2021. To give the public a say in the initial drafting, the city has created several new ways to allow residents to give input and educate themselves on Philly’s urban forest.

Cover photo: Wissahickon Valley Park


Become a Supporter!

If you love what we do you can support our mission with a one-time or monthly contribution.
array(4) {
  [0]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5448 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(1636)
    ["name"]=>
    string(35) "Philadelphia Parks & Recreation"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(29) "philadelphia-parks-recreation"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(1646)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(15)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [1]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5447 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(4026)
    ["name"]=>
    string(16) "Philly Tree Plan"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(16) "philly-tree-plan"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(4034)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(1)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [2]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5462 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(1633)
    ["name"]=>
    string(10) "treephilly"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(10) "treephilly"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(1643)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(15)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [3]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5463 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(767)
    ["name"]=>
    string(5) "trees"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(5) "trees"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(771)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(11)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
}
Sophie Brous
Sophie Brous is an editorial intern at Green Philly. Born and raised in NYC, she now attends Haverford College, where she majors in linguistics. When she's not writing, she can be found exploring cities, making arts and crafts, and finding ways to live a greener lifestyle. View all posts by Sophie Brous

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Green Philly

Featured
In These
Great Spots: