Mayor Greg Fischer, TreesLouisville and the Community Foundation of Louisville announced today that an anonymous donor has contributed $1 million for tree planting throughout the city, and the community is launching an effort to match that donation.
“That’s an ambitious goal, but we know that trees are very important for our environment, our economy and civic pride, and if all citizens participate, we can get it done,” Mayor Fischer said.
Susan Barry, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, said her agency will accept donations to match the $1 million. TreesLouisville will manage the outreach and focus of the initiative.
“Now is the time for all of us to get fired up about planting and caring for trees,” said TreesLouisville Executive Director Cindi Sullivan, “We need trees if we want to have a healthy place to live, learn, work and play. So the question is: have you planted a tree today?”
While the city will continue planting trees on public land through city agencies such as Brightside, the Division of Community Forestry and Metro Parks, the Mayor stressed that the city also needs more trees on private land.
And to reach the city’s goal of a 45 percent tree canopy, he urged residents and businesses to plant trees in their yards and community greenspaces. (Louisville’s tree canopy is currently about 37 percent.)
“I’m asking residents and businesses to recommit themselves in growing our tree canopy by contributing their funds to this effort to buy trees, or their time to plant and maintain them,” the Mayor said. “I am grateful to the private and corporate citizens who have started this effort, and ask the community to match the contribution and more.”
Adding trees has many benefits for a community. Economically, the shade trees provide can lower energy costs and, because they are aesthetically pleasing, trees increase property values and attract business to the neighborhood. Environmentally, trees provide better air quality, a reduction in our city’s heat island effect and a habitat for wildlife. Trees also put more pride into neighborhoods and promote the beauty of city streets.
Local advertising agency Red7e has provided creative services for this initiative.
To donate to the tree planting initiative, please visit https://treeslouisville.org/