We’re thrilled to grow the tree canopy in commercial areas across the city! Trees improve air quality, help combat climate change and protect from extreme summer temperatures. Trees also promote vibrant commercial districts and the economic success of neighborhood businesses. 

The City is committed to growing, protecting and caring for our urban forest. Philadelphia Parks and Recreation recently announced the Philly Tree Plan, a ten-year roadmap to grow the City’s tree canopy equitably. The city’s first ever strategic plan for trees includes input from more than 9,000 residents. The plan recommends new funding to support tree care and maintenance in order to build trust with residents and protect the city’s existing trees. The plan also recommends ways to close the tree canopy gap, by allocating additional resources to priority areas of the city with low tree canopy.

The Philly Tree Plan is in motion! In Fall 2022, The Department of Commerce invested $60,000 in streetscape funding to plant trees on 3 commercial corridors designated as high priority through the equity-informed prioritization scale created in the Philly Tree Plan and in places where Commerce has vital community partners through the PHL Taking Care of Business Clean Corridors Program

Newly planted tree locations

In partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, we planted a total of 117 trees in 60th Street in West Philadelphia, 5th & Lehigh in Fairhill and Chester Avenue in Southwest.  Trees are planted along specific blocks within commercial corridors with the guidance, insights and collaborative public engagement efforts of community-based organizations as listed below:

  • ACHIEVEability and Global Thinking Initiatives, Inc:
  • African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA)
  • HACE Community Development Corporation

Check out the newly planted trees in commercial corridor blocks listed below:

  • 1-199 South 60th Street
  • 5400-5599 Chester Avenue
  • 2600-2999 North 5th Street

Adam Mustafa, local business owner on 60th Street reported that he is excited about the new atmosphere that the trees are bringing to the commercial corridor. Mustafa stated that he is curious to see how they will look when they bloom hoping that they will bring enough shade and comfort to the corridor which in turn can make the shopping experience even more enjoyable for customers. 

Spring begins on March 20 this year. We are also excited to see the trees in full bloom!

How will the trees be maintained

Department of Commerce and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation are collaborating on a new proactive model for community-based maintenance of street trees. The TCB Cleaning Ambassadors scope of work would be expanded to encompass tree care while receiving training and being paid for the additional hours of work involved. For the past two years, the William Penn Foundation also provides funding support to the Overbrook Environmental Education Center (OEEC) expanding their Philly Green Ambassador (PGA) pilot program. The program enhances the careers of PHL TCB Cleaning Ambassadors by teaching tangible skills related to environmental stewardship. 

Many Philadelphia residents are ready, willing, and able to be a part of the workforce that will grow and support the urban forest. Stay tuned for updates!