City to apply for $1.4 million in stimulus funding to plant new trees

April 21, 2009

Soon after Akron was named a Tree City USA community for the 14th time by the Arbor Day Foundation, Akron City Council authorized the city to apply for $1,461,803 million in Federal stimulus money to improve the city's forestry landscape.

Council passed legislation authorizing the Director of Public Service to enter into a grant agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the federally funded Urban Forestry Recovery Project.

The grant will be used to remove 1,075 Borer-infested Ash trees throughout the city and replace them with similar trees; remove and replace storm damaged trees; and conduct a tree survey and plant trees to increase the city's canopy density.

Trees in cities have been proven to promote healthier communities. Leaves filter the air by removing dust and other particles. Trees also moderate the climate, conserve water and provide habitat for wildlife. Trees in urban areas in particular are credited for reducing the "heat island effect" cased by pavement and buildings.

Akron has met four standards set by the Arbor Day Foundation to be called a Tree City USA community by having a tree board or department; a tree care ordinance; a comprehensive community forestry program; and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.