Trees create shade, prevent flooding, and make Philadelphia neighborhoods welcoming places to live. But maintaining a healthy tree canopy in a big city takes a lot of work and careful planning.

That is why Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is creating our first-ever “Future of the Urban Forest” 10-year plan. The plan will make sure trees continue to grow in Philadelphia, and that all neighborhoods benefit from tree-lined streets and parks.  

The plan will be based on new research that shows where Philadelphia has gained and lost tree canopy since 2008. Parks & Rec and our partners have made a big impact planting new trees. Still, the report shows that there is more work to do to reach our goal of 30% tree cover in every neighborhood. The 10-year plan will offer new ways the City can work with residents and partners to support equitable and sustainable tree planting.  

Community members will be a major part of the planning process in 2020. The “Future of the Urban Forest” plan will call on residents and community leaders from around the city to share their experiences with trees and agree new ways to support tree canopy in the areas where it is needed most. Hearing from residents across Philadelphia will support our efforts to partner with communities and make trees a priority in every neighborhood.

Here are five ways to get involved in helping reach Philadealphia’s tree canopy goals in your neighborhood:

  1. Get a free yard tree through Parks & Rec’s TreePhilly program.
  2. Work with neighbors to host a TreePhilly yard tree giveaway this spring.
  3. Request a free street tree in front of your house.
  4. Join the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Tree Tenders program.
  5. Read about how trees combat the effects of climate change and contribute to safe, welcoming communities.
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