More trees will be planted in Spokane during the next decade to provide more shade during hot summer days and filter storm water.
The Spokane City Council approved the effort Monday. The proposal’s sponsor, Councilwoman Lori Kinnear, said the law was one of two pieces updating the city’s forestry plan, which has only seen minor changes over the last 20 years.
She said about 23% of Spokane is covered in tree canopy today and the law raises the goal to 30% by 2030.
The council’s move will increase the number of trees and types of trees in the city. A second law slated to go before council in the fall will set up incentives, such as lower stormwater fees on water bills.
Several community members testified in support of the law, including Mike Petersen, executive director of the Lands Council, and Carol Evans, chairwoman of the Spokane Tribal Business Council.
“All of the plants out there can’t talk for themselves and we people who look to make this a better place for everyone to live have to talk for the trees,” Evans said. “So I’m glad you’re considering this.”
The measure was approved in a 6-0 vote. Councilwoman Kate Burke was absent.
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