Beautify your streetscape and help fight climate change by requesting free trees be planted in front of your house on your street parkway. Then encourage your neighbors to get a tree, too.
Residents of Kansas City and Liberty, MO and Prairie Village, KS are eligible to receive a free street tree planted in the public parkway in front of their home.
Kansas City leaders are prioritizing city greenery as a way to help reduce the causes and effects of a warming climate. A KC Urban Forest Master Plan set a goal of replacing diseased trees and increasing the tree canopy to re-establish a “city within a park” as landscape architect George Keller originally envisioned in the 1890s when he helped design many of the city parks and parkways.
Trees have been proven to help mitigate the effects of increased temperatures associated with climate change and capture the greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, according to the Regional Climate Action Plan prepared by Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and Climate Action KC. Heat islands, or areas surrounded by asphalt and buildings, can be as much as seven degrees hotter than tree shaded areas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The MARC plan states that shade trees reduce the amount of energy needed to heat or cool homes by as much as 25 percent. The city calculated that trees could provide more than $28 million savings in stormwater management, energy reduction and air pollution control. Tree-lined streets are also credited with slowing vehicle traffic and reducing crime while increasing property values.
Residents who request trees are asked to commit to watering it regularly for the first two years while it is being established. The Heartland Tree Alliance handles all tree requests, determines appropriate varieties, plants the trees and provides a watering bag to make it easier for residents. To get more details and apply for your tree, visit Heartland Tree Alliance.
In separate programs, the city of Overland Park, KS will cover 50 percent of the cost of residential approved native tree plantings (up to $150) as a part of its Stormwater Cost Share Program. Apply online. Through the Contain the Rain program of Johnson County Stormwater Management Program, homeowners and businesses can get up to 50-percent reimbursement for native trees and other native plants and storm-water solutions. Get more information at Contain the Rain.