But in many urban and suburban communities, tree canopies are dwindling. Some trees are lost to development. Others are never planted or replaced due to municipal budget constraints.
Western Reserve Land Conservancy launched Reforest Our City to reverse the trend. Starting in the city of Cleveland, we are working with our partners — including residents — to plant and maintain thousands of trees along streets, in parks and in other public spaces.
The time to reforest our cities is now. The need has never been greater.
The Land Conservancy staff includes an urban forester based at our Thriving Communities Institute office in Cleveland. Colby Sattler, a certified arborist, offers expert assistance to cities, community organizations and neighborhood groups. The Land Conservancy played an integral role in the development of the City of Cleveland Tree Plan.
We strategically plant trees based on existing knowledge and tree inventories, which we conduct using our Geographic Information Systems and planning expertise.
We manage and support all work but partner with numerous organizations. We are developing a re-grant program that would fund local partners such as community development corporations and block clubs.
We provide Tree Steward Training, in partnership with Holden Arboretum, where citizens learn how to plant, care for and maintain trees. Training residents to maintain existing and newly planted trees is critical to the success of our program. Click here to learn more about Sherwick Tree Steward Trainings.
Ready supply of trees
We own a nursery in Lake County, Ohio, enabling us to quickly and cost-effectively supply trees to our cities.
We plan to purchase a trailer that will include all necessary tools for proper tree care and tree-planting events, including a water source.
Cleveland has a long and rocky history with trees. It was referred to as “The Forest City” as far back as the 1820s, when then-Cleveland Village Council President Leonard Case, Sr. established an ordinance providing for the planting of shade trees. By the end of the 19th century, the city of Cleveland had great tree cover .
But the city has been defoliated. The current tree canopy in Cleveland is 18.9 percent, the fourth-smallest in Cuyahoga County, according to a study funded by the U.S. Forest Service. The study shows Cleveland’s canopy lags behind the suburbs; the county’s canopy is 37.6 percent. Cleveland now has so few trees that the city’s boundaries are visible on Google Earth.