Edmontonians Root for Trees

Living in large city can often feel like navigating through a concrete jungle. Instead of forests and meadows we traverse through streets, avenues and, depending on the weather, pedways and LRT stations.

We are often amazed when stepping into our vast river valley how far removed we can feel from the tumult of downtown living. Instead of street lights, traffic and the occasional siren we are greeted by well-beaten paths and the peaceful sound of the wind rustling the leaves of trees while birds chatter overhead.

We Edmontonians cherish our river valley because it offers us this momentary solitude. A quiet gem within the heart of a bustling city. A natural retreat from the commotion of urban life. We recognize the invaluable presence of our urban forest, and appreciate the beauty it provides, while recognizing the role it plays in reducing air pollution. But our urban forest also offers us more benefits than meets the eye. It reduces crime, calms the speed of traffic, attracts visitors, and reduces energy costs.

The City’s Root for Trees program aims to preserve and expand our most treasured possession by continuing to plant a diverse, sustainable urban forest through partnerships with citizens, communities and businesses. Together, we planted 21,422 trees in 2013.

Root for Trees Fest is an annual event that promotes the Root for Trees program, and Edmontonians are encouraged to join us on June 14 in The Grange District Park (355 Hemingway Road NW) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come enjoy live music, food, face painting and tattoos, crafts and a fun race for kids while you learn how you can get involved with growing Edmonton’s vibrant urban forest.

Also be sure to register your trees at the newly launched yegTreeMap. The online tool allows you to register the trees you plant or already have growing on your property, or browse various trees growing throughout the city. It also tracks the energy, stormwater flow, carbon dioxide and air quality benefits the trees provide within our urban environment.

Visit www.edmonton.ca/trees for more information on how you can get involved with Root for Trees.