WHY PLANT TREES?
Trees are a vital part of a healthy community, helping to keep us cool during extreme heat and making us more adaptable to a changing climate. It's getting hotter and this heat increase will be hard on everyone, but especially for children, the elderly, people living with disabilities, and people who live alone.
Planting trees is an investment in the future livability and resilience of our communities as we adapt to a changing climate. Shade trees that are strategically planted around buildings can reduce summertime air temperatures by as much as 9°F, and shaded surfaces may be as much as 45°F cooler than un-shaded surfaces. Neighborhood trees—even those not directly on your property—contribute to a cooler climate and more livable community for all residents.
Urban trees are good for so many other reasons too!
- Filtering up to a third of fine particle pollutants within 300 yards of a tree
- Cooling city streets by 2-4F, reducing deaths from heat and cutting energy use
- Reducing rates of cardiac disease, strokes, and asthma due to improved air quality
- Protecting biodiversity including habitat for migrating birds and pollinators
- Reducing obesity levels by increasing physical activity including walking and cycling
- Managing stormwater, keeping pollutants out of waterways and reducing urban flooding
- Increasing neighborhood property values
- Reducing stress by helping interrupt thought patterns that lead to anxiety and depression
CALFIRE TREE GRANT
The City of San Leandro received a CalFire grant in May 2022 to plant trees and engage the community on tree care and maintenance over the next few years. The $1.49M Urban and Community Forestry grant will cover trees for planting, tree supplies, and hiring of staff. Paired with this year's development of the Tree Master Plan, this will kick off concrete steps to addressing climate adaptation, air pollution, urban shade, and urban heat islands, particularly in frontline communities that bear the brunt of environmental injustices. The City will be partnering with Black-led Common Vision for the tree planting and volunteer management, as well as collaborating with a number of community-based organizations for outreach and education. The project got kicked off with an initial tree planting at Toyon Park on Jun 30, 2022, planting the first 12 of 5,000 street trees in the City.
Group of volunteers at the kick off tree planting at Toyon Park in June 2022
Want to get involved? Here are a few ways:
- Get onto the email list for volunteers to join tree planting or outreach events
- Sign up to get a free street tree in front of your residential or commercial property. Owners are expected to water and care for the tree for the first 3-5 years of the tree's life.
- Partner with the City as a community-based organization by emailing Dr. Hoi-Fei Mok at [email protected]