Phoenix looks to increase planting of new trees, improve shade canopy

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

The city of Phoenix is looking to energize efforts to plant more trees citywide to create a better regional shade canopy and reduce heat island effects.

The Phoenix City Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Innovation Subcommittee will be briefed on the program and efforts to improve it on Monday.

One proposal would create a new online portal where Phoenix residents and others can donate to new trees to the efforts. Donations could range between $5 and $25,000 and would go specifically to buy and plant new trees citywide.

Phoenix started its tree canopy efforts in 2010 with the goal of shading 25 percent of the city by 2030.

To do that, city officials estimate there needs to be 10,000 new trees planted each year to reach that goal. In 2019, the city planted 4,000 new trees.

The City Council is also looking at hiring a full-time tree administrator to coordinate efforts and apply for grants. The council could also enhance the focus on shade and trees in planning and land-use policies, according to city documents.

A more significant tree canopy could help reduce temperatures in sprawling Phoenix including during the intense summer heat.

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