TreePhilly program offers city residents free trees

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More trees, please. 

That has been the attitude of Philadelphia’s annual TreePhilly program for years and even amongst a global pandemic, the city’s flourishing green initiative is continuing its mission.

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation announced it will once again offer Philadelphia residents a chance to receive a free tree at two no-contact pickup events. There will also be a door-to-door delivery service available for high-risk residents as well. 

Registration is open through Sunday, May 17. The pickup events will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24, at various locations throughout Philly. Trees will be delivered from May 25-29 and are available while supplies last. 

“Now more than ever, Philadelphians need trees in their communities,” said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell in a statement. “We are thrilled to be able to offer Philadelphia residents a safe opportunity to make a difference this spring, literally right in their own backyard.”

In March, TreePhilly was forced to postpone its Community Yard Tree Giveaway Program, which included more than 20 tree distribution events throughout the city. While the upcoming TreePhilly program is able to take place as scheduled, the organization is strictly enforcing distancing protocols—pickups will take place during scheduled appointments and in limited numbers, staff will practice social distancing and local residents will be responsible for loading their own trees into their cars.

“The importance of trees and parks has never been more appreciated than now,” said Michael Carbone, Regional President of TD Bank, in a statement. “We recognize the significant role green spaces play in maintaining both physical and emotional wellness and are honored to support TreePhilly as they find creative ways to ensure our citizen tree canopy continues to grow and flourish.” 

TreePhilly has given away more than 24,000 trees since its inception, thanks to a partnership with Fairmount Park Conservancy sponsored by TD Bank. The program was initially launched in response to the Office of Sustainability’s Greenworks Plan and “strives to reach 30% tree canopy coverage in every Philadelphia neighborhood,” according to its site. 

Trees not only beautify neighborhoods, but also help reduce energy costs, clean the air and provide shade during hot summer months. Through the TreePhilly program, there are approximately 10 different species of trees to choose from—including large shade trees, fruit and flowering trees—depending on availability. 

“Planting a tree is not only a great way for Philadelphians to get outside while staying at home this spring, but it’s also part of improving the long-term public health of our communities,” said Fairmount Park Conservancy Executive Director Maura McCarthy, Ph.D. “Trees provide essential services for city residents—they lower stress levels, improve our respiratory health, and cool our homes on hot summer days.”

 

Turn a new leaf:

Pre-registration for a tree is required at TreePhilly.org. To be eligible, you must be current residents of the City of Philadelphia and all trees must be planted in the ground on private property. After registering, trees must be picked up during the 30-minute scheduled window. 

Pick up events will take place on Saturday, May 23, at Frankford Boat Launch, 5501 Tacony St., from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Sunday, May 24, at Carousel House, 4300 Avenue of the Republic, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Deliveries will take place May 25-29. Delivery options are available for Philadelphia residents in high-risk populations and those unable to pick up a tree in their car. For additional information, visit TreePhilly.org.

Residents living within the 19120 and 19124 ZIP codes will have access to additional trees, thanks to TreePhilly and Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership. Residents in those areas can register and request a free tree by contacting Nathan McWilliams at [email protected] or 215-744-1853. 

 

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