The City of Valparaiso celebrated NeighborWoods Month with two tree-planting events, assembling more than 75 volunteers in the Keystone Commons and Jessee-Pifer neighborhoods to enhance the city’s urban forest. The two events were held on September 28, at Jessee-Pifer, and October 5, at Keystone Commons. More than 80 trees were planted, including a combination of elm, oak, American hornbeam, redbud, yellowwood, yellow buckeye, Kentucky coffeetree, tulip tree, thornless honeylocust, dogwood, linden, and baldcypress.
"We lose a certain number of trees every year to things like emerald ash borer and efforts like this go a long way in replacing and diversifying the city’s tree inventory,” said Ann Brugos, leader of the city’s Shade Brigade effort, who organized the events.
Together, Alliance for Community Trees organizations have planted and cared for over 15 million trees with help from more than 5 million volunteers. Valparaiso and the ACT support these efforts. “Trees add tremendous value to our community in terms of economic, environmental and health benefits,” said Mayor Jon Costas who supports tree planting and preservation efforts in Valparaiso. He shares the following key benefits of trees:
- Just three strategically placed trees can decrease utility bills by 50%
- Childhood asthma rates are lower in neighborhoods with healthy tree cover
- Planting trees at residential homes can increase property values by 10% or more
- An acre of trees every year absorbs the amount of carbon produced by driving a car 26,000 miles
To learn more about the Valparaiso Shade Brigade, visit their page on Facebook!