The city of Peoria and Salt River Project are partnering for the Right Tree, Right Place program, according to a news release.
By April, 166 trees that pose a risk to electric lines and service reliability in Peoria will be removed. To offset these removals, 500 trees will be planted over the next few months, expanding the city’s shade canopy and wildlife habitats which reduces the urban heat island effect.
“Trees enhance the overall well-being, livability, and character of communities,” said Mayor Cathy Carlat. “Trees also provide increased shade – a critical component in our beautiful and bright Sonoran Desert. The addition of 500 trees, thoughtfully placed in our city, is a tremendous addition to Peoria and I am pleased to partner with SRP as we work to elevate our community.”
SRP developed the Right Tree, Right Place program to work with municipal partners, like the city of Peoria, to remove encroaching trees and then either replant or replace them in city parks, neighborhoods or schools located near removal areas. Trees are replaced in multiples so that there is a net increase in the tree canopy. In turn, it reduces the heat island effect, sequesters CO2 and other air pollutants, improves aesthetics, maintains electric reliability, ensures public safety, and reduces SRP’s long-term vegetation management costs.
Additionally, this program ensures that the city is “improving thermal comfort in Peoria through such means as trees, other vegetation, and structures,” as outlined in the Peoria Pedestrian and Shade Master Plan.
“We are excited to partner with SRP to ensure that the right tree is in the right place and that the effort aligns with Peoria’s community forestry partnerships,” said Ryan McCartney, Peoria’s arborist. “The city locations were selected to maximize the health and wellness benefits trees can provide for Peoria residents. We meticulously selected tree species that are ideal for creating shade canopies in parks for residents to enjoy for years to come.”
With the help of community volunteers, the city will be planting the last 19 trees along the Skunk Creek Trailhead, a regional birding hotspot, during the city’s Earth and Arbor Days celebration in April.
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