The Center City District Foundation (CCDF) is pleased to announce the successful launch of a new initiative, Plant Center City, which has the goal of planting 200 new trees in the central business district during the next two years.
There are approximately 2,300 street trees within the Center City District’s boundary; 700 of those trees were planted in the 1990s by the CCD, which continues to care for them. The goal of the Plant Center City program is to add 200 more and bring Center City’s total to 2,500 trees.
It costs $2,500 per tree – an average of either excavating a new trench and planting a new tree where none exist; or replacing a dead or damaged one; or maintaining CCD’s current inventory of street trees.
Thanks to a generous challenge grant provided by Center City residents Laura and Richard Vague, donors can “adopt a tree” for only $1,250 for the next 50 new trees planted by CCD and have their contribution matched dollar for dollar. Donations of all sizes are encouraged and will be used to maintain current and newly planted trees through pruning, watering, fertilization and pest management.
Plant Center City is also generously supported by corporate partners TD and Lyft.
Research studies on the effects of urban greening have consistently shown that trees offer many measurable and dramatic improvements to cities. They can decrease urban air temperatures, reducing air conditioning bills for homes and businesses; they absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants, making the air healthier; they add value to adjacent homes and businesses; they reduce stress levels and improve emotional well-being; and they increase pedestrian safety by calming traffic and reducing speeds. Trees make good business sense, too, by creating attractive, pleasant urban environments that attract shoppers and encourage them to stay longer.
Center City District plants mature, hardy 2.5-inch caliper trees that initially stand 12 to 14 feet tall and can withstand harsh urban environments, both extreme heat and cold. Many of the variety of trees planted by CCD are native and include oak, cypress, sycamore and hornbeam. New trees are planted at the times of year that ensure optimal growth – typically May and October.
More than 300 years after William Penn’s founding vision of Philadelphia as a ‘greene countrie towne’ with streets named after trees, we still take pride in his original plan with vibrant civic squares and walkable tree-lined streets. Donors to the Plant Center City program will enable Center City District to sustain Penn’s vision for generations to come.
Lyft is proud to support Plant Center City with a commitment to offset carbon emissions from all rides. Lyft is committed to effecting positive change for our cities, and promoting transportation equity through shared rides and public transit partnerships.
TD is proud to support Plant Center City to create a healthier and more sustainable Center City. This exciting initiative will promote an inclusive, connected community and nurture a vibrant planet.