Mayor Faulconer Kicks Off Planting of 500 Street Trees in Residential Neighborhoods

City Received Cal Fire Grant To Plant Trees in Underserved Communities, Boost Urban Canopy to Meet Goals In Climate Action Plan

500StreetTreePlanting

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – With the goals of improving neighborhoods and creating a cleaner San Diego, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today kicked off a project to plant 500 street trees in underserved neighborhoods and continue progress on the goals in the Climate Action Plan.

“When we plant more trees, we are making our neighborhoods greener and our air cleaner,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Every additional tree gets us a step closer to reaching our goal of creating a sustainable future for generations of San Diegans.”

The City recently received a $750,000 grant from the CAL FIRE Urban & Community Forestry Program that provides funding to:

  • Plant 500 street trees in Sherman Heights, Lincoln Park, Grantville and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Hire consultants to conduct a citywide inventory of all street trees to allow the City to better manage its tree assets.
  • Conduct a LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) analysis – a surveying method that measures distances with lasers – of the citywide tree canopy coverage.

The recently completed LIDAR analysis found that the citywide tree canopy coverage is 13 percent – nearly double the previous estimate of 6.8 percent using satellite imagery. That puts the City closer to meeting its Climate Action Plan goal of 15 percent coverage by 2020.

“Trees help to reduce our carbon footprint, but more importantly they contribute to beautiful, walkable neighborhoods and communities,” said Cody Hooven, the City’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

Jeremy Barrick, the City’s Urban Forestry Program Manager, also encouraged residents to help improve canopy coverage by planting and caring for trees in their front and back yards.

“Trees are incredible multi-taskers and provide so many environmental benefits like sequestering carbon dioxide, capturing storm water, reducing energy costs, extending the life of pavement, increasing property values and providing habitat for wildlife,” Barrick said. “Reaching the urban tree canopy cover goals in the Climate Action Plan starts with preserving the existing established trees we already have, and that begins with watering them. We need everyone to water and maintain the trees we have and plant new trees where appropriate.”

The CAL FIRE grant will be used to plant 500 street trees along Market Street, Imperial Avenue, Ocean View Boulevard, 25th Street and 47th Street. Those trees are projected to collectively capture roughly seven million pounds of carbon during their lifespans.

“The trees planted with the CAL FIRE grant will help increase tree canopy cover and help San Diego meet its climate goals,” said Lynnette Short, Urban Forester for CAL FIRE’s Southern Region. “The tree canopy assessment will be the foundation upon which the city makes decisions about how to improve livability and public health in its neighborhoods.”

To be eligible for the grant, a community must be identified as being 75% disadvantaged or greater as mapped by CalEPA and disproportionately affected by multiple types of pollution.

CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]