The Center City District Foundation has the goal of planting 200 new trees in the central business district during the next two years through its initiative, Plant Center City.
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, contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar and donors can “adopt a tree” for only $1,250. Donations of all sizes are encouraged and will be used to maintain current and newly planted trees through pruning, watering, fertilization and pest management.
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.
The Center City District Foundation would like to thank the following donors who made Plant Center City possible:
David Adelman, Susanna Lachs Adler and Dean Adler, Sheldon Bonovitz, Cashman & Associates, David & Rhonda Cohen, Allan Domb, Brian Effron, Steven Elkin, Jaimie and David Field, FS Foundation, Elaine Gelb, Tracey and Thomas Gravina, Edward T. Harvey, Lauren and Michael Heller, Independence Blue Cross, Independence Foundation, Bruce Kardon, Kevin Kleinschmidt, Josh and Rena Kopelman, Bob Lane and Randi Zemsky, the Lubert Family Foundation, Suzanne Markel-Fox (in honor of Marzán Cross), MPN Realty, Ralph W. Muller, Parkway Corporation, Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company, Doc & Katherine Parghi, Marsha and Jeffrey Perelman, Theodore R. Robb, Ronald Rubin, Saramar Charitable Fund, David Schlessinger, David Seltzer, H. Hetherington Smith,the Snider Foundation, Wayne Spilove, Stockton Real Estate Advisors, the Tuttleman Family Foundation, Laura and Richard Vague, Joan K. Wells, and the Wyncote Foundation.
Plant Center City is also generously supported by corporate partners TD and Lyft.
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.