Today is National Arbor Day. Though somewhat eclipsed by the more media savvy Earth Day*, which was last week, it's still a good time for tree planting. As cyclists we should be natural fans of trees. While the weather is perfect for biking right now (seriously, today was insane), it will soon get hot in the DC area. And when it gets hot, nothing is better than finding yourself on a tree lined street (but not the sidewalk) or trail, comfortably in the shade. Trees also reduce temperature through something called transpiration and clean the air that you suck in climbing hills, both made possible by something called "science" (though transpiration sounds like black magic to me). Even in the winter trees, help bike commuters by taming the wind. So we should all be thankful for the tree activist over at Casey Trees.
Not only have they put together this seriously cool map, but they're out there planting trees and teaching people to care for them. The reason I bring this all up is that Casey Trees prefers to plant in coordination with other community groups - community groups, like WABA, to which you may belong or even be a leader of. So get your group together, contact Casey Trees, plant trees in your hood (along bike trails and bike routes) and ride in the shade.
Mayor Anthony Williams launched the Casey Trees Community Tree Planting Program on Arbor Day 2003. We planted 23 disease-resistant American elm trees in a southeast Washington neighborhood that day along G Street off Minnesota Avenue. We continued planting last fall and by year’s end had planted a total of 313 trees with projects in each of the city’s eight wards.
This spring, we increased our efforts, planting 252 additional street trees, 396 small trees and seedlings for a season total of 712 new trees. Reaching this goal required many new volunteers. This spring we had over 500 volunteers including 155 Citizen Foresters and 330 first timers help us achieve this goal. Thank you to all who came out this spring to help us RE TREE DC.
Jim Woodworth leads this program. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Addendum: I just saw this in the Examiner.
In 2005, the city’s Parks Department, which has oversight of 800 acres, spent only $47 per acre on tree management — less than $40,000 total. By comparison, Seattle and Philadelphia each spent more than $270 per acre. The amount does not include spending by the Urban Forestry Administration, an arm of the District Department of Transportation, which plants and manages the “street trees” between the curb and sidewalk.
So, Casey Trees may only be picking up some of the slack.
*See what I did there with "Earth" Day and "eclipsed"? My high school English teacher would be so proud.