Arbor Day in University City
On Saturday, April 16, beginning at 10 a.m., 200 volunteers from West Philadelphia will gather to plant 50 trees along North 34th Street. UC Green, a non-profit organization promoting cooperative community greening in University City, organizes this annual celebration of Arbor Day. The tree-planting event was planned in partnership with the Powelton Village Civic Association (PVCA) and funded by the PA Urban and Community Forestry Council, TreeVitalize, PECO Energy, and matched by participating property owners and stakeholders on 34th Street.
A community greening plan developed in the late 1990s by PVCA, Drexel, and Philadelphia Green targeted 34th Street as a vital University City thoroughfare in need of greening. This planting establishes a four-block greenbelt on this heavily-traveled pedestrian and traffic corridor, which leads from Powelton Avenue, past Lancaster Avenue, to Market Street and the 34th Street subway stop.
The benefits of this tree planting will affect thousands of commuters and visitors by calming traffic and encouraging walking. Trees planted between the curb and sidewalk improve safety by adding a buffer between moving vehicles and pedestrians. A combination of large street trees such as sawtooth oak, london plane, willow oak, bur oak and honey locust and smaller trees suitable for planting under utility wires, such as amelanchiers and ornamental cherries will be planted. As they mature, they will cool and clean the air, beautify the neighborhoods and even raise property values. A recent Wharton study concluded that a single street tree within 50 feet of a property could add 10 percent to the property value.
Several organizations will be working together to assure the trees will be long-lived and bestow the full range of benefits. Experts from the Morris Arboretum are procuring the best quality trees for similar southeastern Pennsylvania TreeVitalize Neighborhood projects.
“While the trees do their thing, another benefit is gained in the process of planting the trees. When a community works together planting trees, it builds and strengthens connections among people,” says Amanda Benner, UC Green director. “We are thrilled with the level of interest and support and are planning more community-building greening opportunities in University City.”
For more information about UC Green or to get involved in upcoming activities, go to www.ucgreen.org or call (215) 573-4684.
Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 28, April 12, 2005
April 12, 2005
Volume 51 Number 28