June 6, 2008
As our first heat wave begins in Boston, consider planting a tree to keep things green, shady, and cool. Planting trees does more than beautify neighborhoods. Well positioned trees drastically reduce energy bills by providing shade for buildings. They also provide millions of dollars worth of air purification, reducing local pollution and respiratory problems.
According to a report from the Urban Ecology Institute, Roxbury has a tree canopy cover of 23 percent and adjacent North Dorchester has a cover of 18 percent. These figures aren't bad, but are nowhere near the number of trees in Jamaica Plain (42 percent cover) or West Roxbury (49 percent cover).
The City of Boston, in partnership with the Boston Urban Forest Coalition aims to plant more than 100,000 trees in the next twelve years. In its Grow Boston Greener campaign, the City is especially interested in planting trees in environmental justice neighborhoods.
As Parks Department arborist Leif Fixen explained to the Roslindale Transcript, "[Environmental justice communities] don't have many trees and many studies show the benefits of having trees around, like lowering asthma rates." See how this Grow Boston Greener campaign can benefit your neighborhood.