Cleveland and the Cavs to rebuild Urban Forest

Published: Oct. 21, 2015 at 11:32 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2015 at 6:45 PM EDT
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Plan for tree planting. (Source: City of CLE)
Plan for tree planting. (Source: City of CLE)
"Trees for Threes" (Source: City of Cleveland)
"Trees for Threes" (Source: City of Cleveland)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland continues to rebuild and grow.

In addition to the current construction underway in the city, leaders announced a new initiative during the PricewaterhouseCoopers Cleveland and Cleveland Cavaliers "Trees for Threes" event.

The Cleveland Tree Plan was created as a partnership between five organizations including the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Holden Arboretum, LAND Studio, and Western Reserve Land Conservancy. The plan is a comprehensive assessment of the city's current urban forest and a unified strategy to reclaim the city's lost canopy.

As part of the initiative, corporate partners PricewaterhouseCoopers are making good on a pledge that starts Wednesday based on the Cavs success.

"We are going to plant a tree for every three pointer that they made at home last season, and that's over four hundred trees overall. We are doing over three hundred here today, and we are doing it again this season," said Mark Ross of Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

View the Cleveland Tree Plan here

"Cleveland was once nicknamed The Forest City, but we have lost about 100,000 public trees since 1940," said City of Cleveland Chief of Sustainability Jenita McGowan. "With this tree plan and the input of our invaluable community partners, this plan will recognize tress as a critical community infrastructure, reverse the trend of canopy loss, and assume full stewardship for the tree infrastructure."

With trees donated by The Davey Tree Expert Co., the two organizations pledged to plant one tree for every three-pointer made by the Cavs over the course of the team's 41 regular season home games in 2014-15 – resulting in 422 total trees being planted in Cleveland and Akron.

What's so great about having lots of trees in our city?  Consider this: experts say Cleveland trees are able to take in 21 billion gallons of rainwater yearly, and that the trees actually eliminate 42-thousand tons of air pollution every year. Trees are also said to increase property values here by over 4 million dollars a year. 

"Planting trees is really good for the community. The number of trees that are taken out of the city for a variety of reasons - it takes a lot to rebuild that.  So, it's all part of that," added Ross.

The first 300-plus trees were planted at Anton Grdina Elementary School on Cleveland's east side at Wednesday's event and the remaining 100 trees will be planted in the Akron area next month.

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