Representatives of the city of Provo are planting 1,000 trees as part of a goal to move toward a more sustainable future.
According to Hannah Salzl, the Provo City sustainability coordinator, the initiative is a great way to invest in the health of Provo.
“We felt like it was a good way to invest in our future, invest in our infrastructure, invest in mental and social health and invest in property values. There’s not really a downside to putting more trees in your community,” Salzl said.
According to Salzl, the decision to start planting in Provo parks made it easier to organize community planting events for volunteers. These different kick-offs helped the initiative get started as volunteers across Provo came to help plant the trees.
“A few of our early kick-offs were in parks just because it’s easier to work with a larger group of volunteers,” Salzl said.
According to Salzl, the initiative was supposed to start in March 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative was delayed for a few years.
The initiative, which started on Saturday, May 21, 2022 in Pioneer Park, has steadily grown as volunteers have been planting more trees across the city over the last year.
According to the Thousand Trees Initiative website, the program has already planted 353 trees across the city.
Volunteer efforts from various city members and student groups have had a major impact on the success of the initiative, according to Salzl.
Charitable contributions from The Nature Conservatory and the Ivory Foundation have also helped provide trees for developing areas across Provo.
According to Salzl, there are lots of different areas across Provo that are developing and in need of more trees.
“There are others that are just starting to develop, just starting to get space to put more trees in. So we’re trying to spread that tree canopy out for better citywide coverage,” Salzl said.
One of the main objectives of the initiative is to plant various street trees across the city. According to Salzl, a street tree is a type of tree that is planted in the area between the sidewalk and the road, and it provides various benefits for the city.
“We are working on getting trees all across the city, especially that we really want to target areas that might not have had as much access to funding for street trees before,” Salzl said.
Street trees provide many benefits, including shade for pedestrians, a barrier between traffic and pedestrians and reduced heat from the asphalt roads.
The goal of the 1,000 trees initiative is to ultimately make Provo a more beautiful, clean and sustainable city.