Cleveland launches plan to rebuild urban forest

CLEVELAND -- The city is working on a plan to reverse an annual trend of tree canopy loss in Cleveland that totals more than 97 acres.

The new initiative, known as the Cleveland Tree Plan, was created as a partnership with five organizations including the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Holden Arboretum, LAND Studio, and Western Reserve Land Conservancy. The plan is a unified strategy to reclaim the city's lost canopy.

"Cleveland was once nicknamed The Forest City, but we have lost about 100,000 public trees since 1940," said City of Cleveland Chief of Sustainability Jenita McGowan. "With this tree plan and the input of our invaluable community partners, this plan will recognize tress as a critical community infrastructure, reverse the trend of canopy loss, and assume full stewardship for the tree infrastructure."

The City of Cleveland's urban forest intercepts 21 billion gallons of rainwater every year, removes 42,000 tons of air pollution every year, and increases property values by an estimated annual $4.5 million.

The plan aims to maintain a habitat for wildlife, improve business districts, and block noise and pollution by almost 50 percent for those living near highways.

The City of Cleveland plans to discuss the plan at a "Trees for Threes" event on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at Anton Grdina Elementary School, 2995 E. 71st Street at 9 a.m. Click here for more information on the event.


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