Penn and city distribute free trees to University homeowners

Tree Planting Photo Credit: Peter Tobia

If you are a Penn employee who owns a home within the Philadelphia city limits and would like to add a little green to your yard, the University has a deal for you.

Penn has partnered with the city’s Parks & Recreation Department to distribute 300 free trees to faculty and staff homeowners to plant on their property. The trees in this “Creating Canopy” pilot giveaway will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Qualified Penn employees interested in obtaining a tree have until Thursday, March 17, to pre-register at, where information on tree planting and caring is also available.

Pre-registered participants can join Penn President Amy Gutmann, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and other members of the campus community at 1 p.m. on College Green on Thursday, March 31, to pick up their trees. Homeowners unable to collect their trees at that time can do so between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, at High Line Field, east of the Left Bank building, on the lower level of 31st and Walnut streets.

“We are excited that President Gutmann and Mayor Nutter will show their support at the tree giveaway launch for the Penn community,” says Anne Papageorge, vice president of Facilities and Real Estate Services. “In future years, we hope this initiative will grow and that our sponsorship will make a great impact on our campus and city in expanding our environmental outreach and working towards our sustainability goals.”

Mayor Nutter has long supported increasing the city’s tree canopy, a central theme in his campaign to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America. His goal is to plant 300,000 new trees in the city by 2015.

The University is already a leader in promoting environmental sustainability, including the importance of green space and tree canopy. Penn plans to plant more than 1,700 trees by 2015.

For more information on Penn’s sustainability efforts, visit

Originally published on March 3, 2011