More than 10,000 new trees will be planted across Spokane over the next two years as part of an initiative unveiled Friday by Mayor David Condon to beautify neighborhoods and help soak up troublesome stormwater.
“Trees add beauty and character, and play a major role in our plans to be smarter about how we use vegetation to help keep stormwater from entering our river,” Condon said during an Arbor Day celebration that included recognition for those who have long helped promote development of healthy urban forests throughout the city.
Condon also called on residents to consider planting more trees on their own.
To help kick-start the effort, 300 saplings will be given away to City Hall visitors next week. The city’s Tree of Life project encouraging replacement of diseased or damaged trees is being reinvigorated as well.
The names of individuals and groups organizing planting efforts going back nearly 20 years are commemorated on the tree, located in the Chase Gallery outside City Council chambers. The Emerson-Garfield neighborhood was added Friday in recognition of the group’s effort last weekend to plant trees along North Maple Street.
The mayor’s initiative comes the same week the City Council designated the ponderosa pine as Spokane’s official tree and the city was recognized for its status as a Tree City USA community. Also, about 4,200 ponderosa pine saplings were planted along the North Spokane Corridor recently by Boy Scouts and other volunteers.
The city’s tree keeper, Spokane Urban Forestry, is hosting an Arbor Day celebration today at Finch Arboretum from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.