The City of Cleveland announced Thursday that it had received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service as part of the agency's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
With the funds, the city will plant and maintain 150 new trees in Cudell and Buckeye-Shaker, the two neighborhoods serving as pilot areas in the implementation of the Cleveland Tree Plan, launched by the city last year
One hundred and fifty trees sounds like quite a few, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to the 100,000 trees that Cleveland has lost since the 1940s — back when it was still known as the Forest City — impacting issues as diverse as air quality and home values.
The city's collaborative plan
to restore the urban canopy wants to mitigate the estimated 97 acres of canopy lost every year. Unsurprisingly, the best way to do that is by planting trees, and every tree is a step in the right direction. If we don't plant more trees, Cleveland officials said last year, the city could fall to about 14 percent tree cover in 2040. It's at 19 percent now,
significantly lower than coverage in cities like Pittsburgh (40 percent), Cincinnati (38 percent), and even New York (24 percent).
The announcement of the grant cited numerous benefits to the upcoming plantings, among them: improved air quality; energy conservation; storm water management; and, not to be overlooked, residents engaged in environmental stewardship activities.