a tree in a forest

State hopes to inspire Delawareans to plant tree for every resident

Charlie Megginson Government, Headlines

a tree in a forest

Delaware has a new initiative to add to the state’s number of trees. Photo by Felix Mittermeier/Pexels

 

In the state’s new initiative to plant a tree for every Delawarean, 20,110 are in the ground or will be soon.

That leaves about 950,000 trees yet to be planted.

The Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative, called TEDI for show, was announced in Gov. John  Carney’s 2020 State of the State address and discussed in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan as a strategy to support local communities’ enhancement of urban greenspaces.

The state of the mid-Atlantic’s tree canopy and the benefit that trees offer to society both as nature itself and in helping cool the planet and cope with pollution has long been a topic.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society a decade ago adopted a program to plant 1 million trees in the Philadelphia region, South Jersey and Delaware by 2020.

The Delaware Horticulture Society focuses on planting trees, particularly in Wilmington, as a way to offer shade, cut power costs and beautify the area, among other reasons.

Now the state of Delaware officially will join the effort.

DNREC and the Delaware Department of Agriculture partnered to develop a new website where residents can access information on selecting, planting and caring for their trees. 

In addition, residents, non-profit organizations and municipalities can visit the site to enter information and photos of their tree plantings to help count the trees planted throughout the state.

“Healthy and resilient forests are a vital part of the efforts to combat the negative impacts of climate change,” a press release announcing the initiative said. “Planting and nurturing trees is a nature-based solution to reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

According to the release, urban trees and forests help decrease energy use and emissions by providing shade, cooling temperatures and changing wind speeds. Studies have shown trees can reduce temperatures by 9 degrees and energy and heating costs by $7.8 billion a year in the United States.

Encompassing 1.25 million acres, Delaware has nearly 360,000 forested acres.

With 78% of the state’s forests privately owned, the Delaware Forest Service provides technical assistance, funding and education to serve as a foundation for tree planting, conservation, reforestation, forest management and wildlife protection throughout Delaware.

On Tuesday, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary Michael T. Scuse joined Carney, Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, state and county officials, and stakeholders at a tree planting at Lt. Joseph L. Szczerba Memorial Park at Penn Acres to draw attention to the effort.

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