Leaders announce new plan to raise the tree canopy percentage in the city of Rochester
ROCHESTER, N.Y. Have you ever noticed that your neighborhood has less shade than others?
According to Sen. Chuck Schumer, that would be because Rochester has been suffering from a declining tree canopy for decades. According to AmericanForests.org, this declining tree canopy is hitting poorer communities and communities of color, leaving them with 30% fewer trees.
Having fewer trees in your neighborhood affects you more than you might think.
“It’s also a health issue because when you don’t have trees you have lower air quality, lower property value and many other inequities,” Schumer said.
The city of Rochester is looking to plant more than 6,000 trees by the end of 2025.
“Currently we have about 64,000 trees in Rochester,” Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said. “When we’re done with this by 2025 we’ll be up to 70,000. One thousand trees are being planted this spring and another 1,000 trees will be planted in the fall.”
Schumer is looking to tap into the historic funding provided for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry Program to fill our urban areas with trees.
“We now have an opportunity to restore Rochester’s legacy as a tree city and make that legacy blossom once again,” Schumer said.
And these trees won’t be your typical oaks or maples. Mayor Malik Evans says the plan is to plant species of trees that are native to New York, like tulip trees, wherever possible, to conserve and protect our environment. The locations of these new trees will be in neighborhoods in northeast Rochester.
If you or someone you know lives in a neighborhood that has a declining tree canopy, you can request trees to be planted near your home once the funding has been secured.