IDAHO — The City of Boise along with the Treasure Valley Canopy Network created the City of Trees Challenge to plant one tree for every household in Boise, and that challenge is wrapping up year two of its 10-year plan.
“We are having a great time growing more trees and making Boise’s environment better,” Lance Davisson, President and Director, Treasure Valley Canopy Network said.
So far 3,000 of the 100,000 trees have been planted in Boise and nearly 40,000 seedlings have been planted in the forest.
"One hundred thousand trees in ten years we are way behind. We should have twenty thousand right now," Davisson said. "We really need help getting the word out about it. We need help raising funds to make it happen but we have a lot of the key foundational pieces in place."
The foundation of this challenge includes a long-term goal of creating a cleaner and better environment for Boise's future.
"And to make sure that we are not just planting a tree, we are planting a tree, maintaining it, and growing it over time so that 100 years from now these trees can have a great impact," Davisson said.
Project leaders have partnered with the Boise Farmers Market to give away free trees, but also are brainstorming more ideas to help them get closer to the goal.
"When we know that climate change is happening, when we know that the summers are heating up a lot of citizens want to be able to do something about it, so it can be something as simple as planting a tree," Davisson said. "So what this does is you at your own home if you want to help make a better climate you can plant a tree."
They're also focusing on education.
"You’re not alone when you get a tree. We give you advice on how to plant it the right way and how to take care of it over time," Davisson said.
Organizers hope this helps combat climate change, but the trees have many other benefits too.
"It can be as simple as making your landscape more pretty," Davisson said. "The other thing is if you plant it near the sidewalk or you plant it in the area west of your house where usually you get really hot intense summer heat you’ll actually start finding that when that tree grows up 10 to 15 years from now that shade will reduce your energy use, and so it actually saves you money."
As they head into year three their goal is to get trees into neighborhoods that need them most, by making them more accessible to people who can't afford a tree.
Organizers also want to remind anyone who has planted a tree or is planning on doing so to make sure to enter the tree into the website, so they can keep track.
To do so, click here.
For more information on the benefits of trees or to plant one, click here.