After the 2008 summer monsoons destroyed more than 400 city-owned trees, Tempe was left struggling to find the resources needed to replenish its tree population. Now, with the revival of the Trees for Tempe program, residents and local businesses can take part in reconstructing the city’s landscape, one tree at a time!
Mitchell Park East and Mitchell Park West Neighborhood Associations and the theater group Childsplay will start planting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, December 6th with the Trees for Tempe program, which plans to replace those 400 trees that were ravaged by the monsoon season. Volunteers will be planting 46 trees Saturday morning at Mitchell Park in Tempe to replace trees that were damaged or destroyed by summer’s storms.
Denise Rentschler, community outreach coordinator for Tempe’s Parks and Recreation Department, said “Everybody is really excited and they are looking forward to having abundant shade in the park again. We’re going to provide shade for benches and playgrounds that are already there.”
Volunteers will plant 45 15-gallon trees, including thornless mesquite, ash, Chinese pistache, elm and museum paloverde trees. One 48-inch box tree and a Chinese pistache will replace the mesquite tree that once greeted parkgoers at the entrance of Mitchell Park, at Mitchell Drive and Ninth Street.
Forty of the trees were donated to Trees for Tempe by the Phoenix branch of RISO, a Tempe-based digital printing company. Earlier this year RISO joined with the Arbor Day Foundation to help plant 100,000 trees over the next four years. The other six trees were part of a 100-tree donation from Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun, a local nonprofit that helps repair homes for low-income elderly and disabled homeowners.
Trees for Tempe was created in 2006 by Tempe orthodontist Dr. Paul Bonham, who pledged to give $40 to the city for every new patient that he received. Bonham hoped to replace trees that were damaged by strong winds and to allow Tempe residents and businesses to get involved through monetary donations and volunteer service. The program was revived after summer’s storms tore through Tempe’s trees once again. It is now expanded to include the city’s urban forest.
The surrounding neighborhoods will surely appreciate the work of the volunteers that will bring back the shade for the playgrounds and benches throughout the park. What a wonderful way to pay back your community and get involved!
|Mitchell Park East
||Mitchell Park West|
|West 9th Street
Built: 1930′s – 1950′s
|West 11th Street
Built: 1940′s – 1960′s
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