Need more trees in your Philly neighborhood? Here is your chance to tell the town hall

Plans are afoot to close the summer heat between Philadelphia’s tropical suburbs and the city average. But there is still time for Philadelphia to assess how the city will fare.

The Phil Tree Plan aims to reduce the canvas gap between Philly settlements, which contribute to temperature fluctuations of up to 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Trees not only cool the environment but also store planetary heat and are associated with better health outcomes for nearby residents, including reducing respiratory symptoms.

“When you don’t have enough shade, you feel warmer,” says Kiasha Hulling, director of UC Green, a university-based environmental organization.

Recently, the city’s tree cover has gone in the wrong direction. Between 2008 and 2018, the city lost 6 percent, especially in residential areas.

As of 2018, 20% of the city is covered with trees. City officials want to increase it to 30% over the next 30 years, and the draft Phillips Plan sets out more specific goals, including high levels of poverty, poor air quality, poor mental and respiratory health, and exposure to heat.

The plan will lead to urban activity over the next decade, but the benefits could be far-reaching – as it could take 30 years for a new tree to fully develop, according to city officials.

The plan, which has been in place for many years, is the result of months of intense public participation and input from thousands of residents. City officials are publishing draft recommendations in early November and are receiving public feedback online until midnight Wednesday. Philadelphians can say yes or no.

It makes caring for your tree easier

The large tree cover gap between the Philly settlements – just as much as 3% of the southern Philii suburbs compared to more than 80% near Visahikon or Penipak Parks – is closely related to neighboring income, according to the 2019 Plan Phil Analysis. The poorest inhabitants of the city at that time lived in census tracts, which contained only one-third of the city’s street trees. Poor residents have little access to air conditioning and other deadly heat.

For those who beg for about 2,000 free garden trees a year but do not plant them without the property’s permission, the city’s Trefili program did not help close the gap. Wealthy property owners are often involved. Lack of historical connection with low-income communities means that many residents are unaware of the program.

“I think the idea is that there are people who don’t have trees in the past, and that’s not the case,” said Hulling. “People want trees through delivery and engagement.”

But trees can be a liability or a financial burden, Huling says because property owners are currently responsible for accidental maintenance of road trees and any sidewalk repairs. This, he said, contributes to the disparity between the rich and the poor.

“A rolling tire gets the oil,” Holling said.

But the tree plan aims to change that by reducing the impact of street trees on residents.

In the short term, the draft plan recommends cost-sharing programs for the city and property owners. In the long run, the city will take full responsibility for sidewalks with public rights – a significant new investment. The draft plan also calls for the city’s forest development experts to actively inspect and maintain all road and parking trees on a regular basis. Refer to the City Call Center for questions, concerns and questions about trees.

Some cities do not require the permission of the landlord to plant a road tree. The city of Philadelphia can legally plant trees without a license, says Maita Sukup, a spokeswoman for the Department of Parks and Recreation.

City officials said at the beginning of the planning process that the tree plan could encourage a property owner to sign off on the tree planting in Phili – but the draft plan does not recommend this.

“We are trying to focus more on making it easier for people to participate in tree planting programs,” said Erika Smith Fichman, manager of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Community Forest.

Hulling Philney, owner of Philley, who distributes tree planting information and tree care information with residents through tree auction through the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, said it is an “obstacle” to increase canvas coverage in the city because it makes it difficult for tenants. To ask for trees. She said the plan suggested an alternative system, but she said it was “fine,” but city officials did not go that route.

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