Cool idea: Mesa initiative sets goal of 1 million trees planted by 2050
Feb 18, 2023, 5:00 AM
PHOENIX — If one of Mesa’s newest initiatives succeeds, a million trees will be planted in the East Valley city by 2050.
The “Trees are Cool” push aims to increase shade, lower the urban heat island effect and keep the community cooler during the summer months.
Mesa is challenging residents and businesses to contribute to the goal, which would increase the city’s tree canopy coverage to 15%.
Residents can get up to $100 back for planting two trees.
“Any meaningful climate action plan in Mesa must address heat mitigation, and trees have a significant role to play in providing shade, keeping temperatures low and filtering greenhouse gas emissions,” Mayor John Giles said in a press release Wednesday.
“I encourage everyone to get involved in planting new trees in Mesa.”
An online tool is available to record the location of newly planted trees and information on choosing, planting and caring for them.
The tool also has a map that shows the neighborhoods most susceptible to heat impact risks.
The initiative is in line with Mesa’s climate action plan and was developed following feedback from community members about the city’s environmental goals.
“We need to work together to ensure that our community can withstand the changing weather patterns caused by climate change, both in terms of extreme temperatures and ongoing drought,” Scott Bouchie, director of Mesa’s environmental and sustainability department, said in the release.
“It is especially important to reduce temperatures in our most vulnerable neighborhoods. And planting trees can help us do this.”