Friday September 14, 2012
Mayor Greg Fischer helped plant the first three trees as part of a donation of 1,000 trees from waste management company, Ecotech, in celebration of its 15th anniversary.
“By adding to Louisville’s tree canopy, Ecotech’s generous donations will not only green our community, it also will help reduce the urban heat island effect, reduce our carbon footprint and create new shaded areas for residents to enjoy,” Fischer said.
Ecotech will purchase and supply the city with 100 trees per year over ten years, as part of its 10,000 Trees Partnership, and will work with the Tree Advisory Commission and the city’s Office of Sustainability and Department of Metro Parks to determine best locations and develop a maintenance plan. The three trees planted today are two swamp white oaks and one red maple.
“Ecotech is committed to giving back to the city we call home, and we couldn’t think of a better way to provide a lasting impact for all Louisville residents,” said Robert Lee, Louisville native and president and owner of Ecotech. “The sustainability of our natural resources is critical to every one of us, and we encourage others to join in making Louisville stronger in the future.”
The Tree Advisory Commission’s mission is to preserve, expand and improve Louisville's tree canopy. The mayor-appointed group is working with various city agencies in planting trees, including Metro Parks, Brightside, and Public Works. The Commission is currently working to hire a consultant who will develop a city-wide tree plan that will guide the management of Louisville’s urban forest. That plan will determine where there is the least canopy and where trees should be planted.
“Our tree canopy has shrunk over the years, because of disease, storms and development, and we know we have issues with storm runoff, heat island effect, and that our tree canopy is smaller than other cities our size, but we need to know how many trees we need and exactly where they are needed to help,” Fischer said.
The University of Louisville conducted a tree canopy study in 2011 that estimated Louisville’s current tree canopy is at 27% and recommended the increase its canopy to 40% cover.
Fischer issued a community challenge to corporate partners and residents alike to match Ecotech’s gift with funds to go toward maintenance of the trees.
“Accepting donations of trees is wonderful and we’re lucky to have corporate citizens who want to step up and make a difference in our community,” said Tree Advisory Commission Co-Chair Henry Heuser, Jr. “We also are just as much in need of corporate citizens who can partner with us to maintain and water these trees, especially in the first few years, to make sure that the gift of trees is sustainable.”
For more information about the Tree Advisory Commission, visit www.louisvilleky.gov/sustainability/treeadvisorycommission.