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Published on April 24, 2024
Phoenix Embraces Arbor Day, City Plants for a Cooler Future with Drought-Tolerant TreesSource: City of Phoenix

In an effort to green up the desert landscape and combat environmental challenges, Phoenix is set to celebrate Arbor Day with a focus on planting suitable trees for the arid climate. The Arbor Day Foundation CEO Dan Lambe emphasized, "There's never been a more important time for trees than right now," highlighting the pressing need to address excessive heat, flooding, and drought, according to 12News. With Arbor Day around the corner, on April 26, residents are encouraged to plant drought-tolerant trees that require minimal water and cater, to the unique ecosystem of the Southwest.

Following up on the commitments to improve urban forestry, the City of Phoenix hosted its largest tree planting event this season in a Westwood neighborhood. As part of its Community Canopy grant program, which is backed by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the city planted roughly 200 sizable trees. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego stated, “Planting trees across Phoenix not only enhances the beauty of our neighborhoods, but also puts in motion our strategic vision for urban forestry," in a report by the City of Phoenix. Councilwoman Laura Pastor, representing the area, expressed pride in the local engagement with the program, noting the environmental and aesthetic uplift. Each participating homeowner received tree care supplies along with the trees.

The initiative is a clear sign of the city's commitment to ecological and social improvement. Lora Martens, Urban Tree Project Manager, underscored the transformative aspect of the initiative, "These tree plantings in front line communities, are truly improving the tree equity gap in our city." She also mentioned the unexpected social bonding, with neighbors meeting for the first time during the event. Residents keen on joining the green wave have until December 31 to apply for the program and can find more information on the official city website.

While the desert regions of the Southwest might not be everyone's first thought when it comes to lush landscapes, both the Arbor Day Foundation and the City of Phoenix are showing, that it's more than possible to build a sustainable and tree-rich environment. For residents looking to contribute to this green revolution and find the best trees for their locale, resources are available at the state's forestry website. As Lambe of the Arbor Day Foundation puts it, it all comes down to "the right plant in the right place at the right time."