While we celebrate our urban jungle in this space each week, trees are a vital part of the Columbus community. They clean our air and water. They help fight climate change. They support local species. And they bring beauty to our lives. In recent years, however, trees have come under threat from insects and severe weather. A recent report shows that to recover from these challenges, Columbus needs to plant 300,000 areas in the next five years. What can you do to help?
- Plant your own trees. Visit the Branch Out website for an approved tree list, then call OUPS and the City of Columbus before you start digging; they will let you know where underground utilities are buried. Once your new tree is in the ground, submit the location through the website and help move the TreeO-Meter needle closer to 300,000.
- You can earn up to a $100 rebate on your tree purchase, while supplies last. Visit the GreenSpot Backyards website to apply for the rebate program which is administered by Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District on behalf of the City of Columbus.
- You can also request a street tree from the City of Columbus. Simply call 614.645.3111 or visit www.311.columbus.gov to submit a service request. Use keyword “request a street tree” and follow the prompts. There is a wait list, but you can also request a permit to plant your own street tree. If approved, be sure to follow the instructions above.
- If you aren’t big on digging yourself, you can make a monetary donation to the Columbus Recreation and Parks Foundation to purchase and plant trees. Your donation, made online via The Columbus Foundation, is tax deductible and can be made in honor of a loved one. Hey, that’s a great Mother’s Day idea!
- Plan a tree planting event in your community. You can use the Branch Out online map and borrow equipment if needed. A large Earth Day event resulted in the planting of over 21,000 trees. What might your community accomplish?
- Finally keep an eye out for a potential free tree event this fall. Check the Branch Out site for updates.