Metro Public Works and Cumberland River Compact Partner to Plant Trees
December 8, 2015
Project aims to ensure a healthy and sustainable urban forest
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Over the next several weeks, 200 trees are being planted in downtown Nashville. Tree planting locations include Charlotte Ave., Church St., Commerce St., James Robinson Pky., Korean Veteran’s Blvd., Polk Ave., and 7th Ave. In addition to these streets, some trees have already been planted on the east side of the Cumberland River areas. This project is made possible through a Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry’s Agricultural Enhancement grant to the Cumberland River Compact.
“Planting trees is a great way to ensure that our downtown neighborhood continues to be a great place to live, work and play,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “The partnership between Public Works and the Cumberland River Compact will result in more trees that help maintain a healthier environment while adding to the beauty of our city.”
“Tree planting fits the Compact’s mission to improve the quality of water in the Cumberland River Basin,” said Mekayle Houghton, Executive Director of the Cumberland River Compact. Both Metro Water Services and Metro Parks and Recreation Department are providing the matching funds for the grant. Project Coordination and mulch are being provided by Metro Public Works’ Beautification and Environment Commission.
A tree canopy assessment performed in April 2010, found Metro’s downtown urban area, with less than 14% coverage was the lowest percent existing Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) in the county. Some areas in the downtown core have a tree canopy of less than 5%. UTC metrics showed an average of 15% in public right-of-ways throughout the county. The urban forest provides varied benefits including cooling the urban environment, improving air quality and mitigating stormwater.
“The downtown environment is harsh on trees and some of the trees have outreached their potential. They are now able to be replaced through the funds received through this grant and our partner agencies. Replacing damaged trees and replanting healthy ones are standard practices in the effort to have a healthy, sustainable urban forest,” said Metro Horticulturist, Jennifer Smith, of Metro’s Landscape Coordination Program.
Fall is the best time to plant trees as they have become dormant. This is less stressful on the tree. It is cooler outside in the fall but the warmer temperatures of the ground creates an environment for the roots to start getting established. This prepares the trees for the spring growing season.
For more information including how to host a tree planting project, visit: trees.nashville.gov.