TreeVitalize Supports New Trees In The City Of Harrisburg

May 1, 2014

On Earth Day, a group of volunteers including DCNR Urban Forester Ellen Roane, planted 43 new trees to beautify and shade the North Third Street corridor in Harrisburg.Many of Harrisburg’s old trees are in poor condition, while many others have been removed and not replaced over time.North Third Street is now lined with a variety of species including red oaks; serviceberries; accolade cherries; a European hornbeam; and a gingko.Funding for the trees was provided by a TreeVitalize grant from DCNR and matched with cash donations and volunteer and in-kind services. Assistance with appropriate tree selection was provided by the Bureau of Forestry.“Trees were selected for each location taking into consideration length and width of the public right-of-way available for planting, overhead service lines and types of trees that are suitable for urban street settings,” Roane said.Capital Region Water, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forestry Council, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and DCNR commissioned Penn State University to undertake a street tree inventory for the City of Harrisburg in the summer of 2013. The inventory provides the foundation from which annual work plans can be developed.The results of the inventory have been published in a report which discusses the responsibilities of the city and residents, provides recommendations for tree removal, guidelines for pruning and planting, and recommendations and thoughts for the future. The North Third Street Tree Planting Project is the first among several tree planting projects using this study.A flourishing urban tree canopy is critical to the sustainability and vitality of the City of Harrisburg for a number of reasons. Studies show that trees:— Improve water quality, resulting in less stormwater runoff into Paxton Creek and the Susquehanna River, and allow for more recharge of the groundwater supply;— Help reduce energy consumption by providing shade;— Beautify the community;— Stimulate economic development;— Increase property values;— Absorb carbon dioxide; and— Reduce stress, blight and criminal activity.Jean Cutler, Vice-President for Programs and Development for The Covenant Community Corporation, who is leading this project says, “Tree planting is a wonderful way to get to know all of your neighbors and bring community together around a common goal.”Covenant Community Corporation has taken the lead in organizing and coordinating neighborhoods willing to help restore healthy trees throughout the city.TreeVitalize is a DCNR public-private partnership effort to increase public awareness of the importance of community trees, and to reverse the loss of tree cover in the state’s communities. For more information, visit the TreeVitalize website.(Reprinted from the April 30 Resource newsletter from DCNR.)