Residents of Kansas City, MO can receive a free tree as part of the city’s effort to restore the declining urban forests.

Trees will be planted in the public right-of-way, which is typically within 10 feet of the street. To receive a free tree, recipients must be a Kansas City resident, have adequate planting space as defined by ordinance and be willing to “adopt” a tree by providing supplemental water over the next two years.

The new tree-planting program is a partnership between Heartland Tree Alliance (HTA), a program of environmental non-profit Bridging the Gap, and Kansas City, MO Parks and Recreation. The city will provide the trees and HTA volunteers will plant them.

“We’re excited to work with Bridging the Gap’s Heartland Tree Alliance because they educate citizens about the importance of trees and get them involved in tree care,” said Terry Rynard, KC Parks deputy director. “Because they use volunteers to plant and water, we can get more trees planted for the same budget.” 

Studies have shown that heavily “treed” neighborhoods have less crime because more people are outside; trees also slow traffic and add up to 20 percent to property values. Thousands of trees are lost annually to disease, storm damage and old age in Kansas City.

“Trees provide so many benefits to our city–shading our streetscapes, cleaning our air and cooling pavement and air temperatures,” said Sarah Crowder, forester for Heartland Tree Alliance.

To find out more information about the program or request a free tree, visit Bridging the Gap. To volunteer to help plant the trees, contact Crowder at 816-561-1086 or sarah.crowder@bridgingthegap.org.

Photo: White Angel 3 // CC