Giving Back to the Community by Building Urban Canopies in Spokane
On an uncharacteristically sunny and warm fall day in Spokane, Washington, the PRESENCE team found themselves digging holes. They were along the street (in a noticeably less-shaded part of town) without as much tree canopy cover and that was exactly why they were there; they were volunteering for SpoCanopy.
SpoCanopy is a Program of the city’s Urban Forestry department. This program is dedicated to increasing canopy cover within the city of Spokane. SpoCanopy’s goal is 40% tree cover over Spokane neighborhoods by the year 2030. To do so, they partner with the Land’s Council to determine viable placement and greatest need areas for additional trees. Urban tree plantings help the city in many ways, from stormwater mitigation to wildlife habitats, lowering microclimate temperatures, reducing the need for energy intensive air conditioners, increasing property values, and reducing pollutants to name a few.
Several times a year, the organization hosts a tree planting day calling in volunteers to help plant trees in areas with the greatest need. The area that received their volunteer support had an average canopy cover of less than 20%! The team was able to plant several trees for SpoCanopy and had a great time doing it!
If you’ve read this far and live in a city, stop reading and go plant a tree! Your city will be a better place for it.