Mayor Announces Plans to Improve Cleveland’s Tree Canopy

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Mayor Frank G. Jackson, a key proponent of local environmental sustainability, announced this week the City of Cleveland’s new tree canopy goal at a tree planting event at Citizens Academy.

This is the third and final portion of the Cleveland Tree Plan. Created by Mayor Jackson, the plan aims to reforest the Forest City through citywide collaboration. Mayor Jackson and the Cleveland Tree Coalition commit –with the help of residents, businesses, government and community organizations –to grow the City’s canopy from 19 to 30 percent by 2040. The long-term goal is to reach 40 percent canopy.

“A focus on sustainability helps ensure our city’s longevity,” said Mayor Jackson. “We are working together not only to improve urban forestry, but to design a city that advances environmental, economic and human health for all.”

The city’s current tree canopy is 19 percent and expected to fall to 14 percent by 2040 without proactive measures. The Cleveland Tree Coalition will plant more than 50,000 trees in Cleveland by 2020. The City of Cleveland commits to planting and maintaining 5,000 of those trees.

Mayor Jackson unveiled the new goal at an Arbor Day Celebration hosted by Western Reserve Land Conservancy, a partner in the plan to reforest the city.

“Trees are absolutely essential to the human and environmental health of our communities,” shared Rich Cochran, president and CEO of the Land Conservancy. “Every neighborhood deserves the many benefits of a robust tree canopy which is why Western Reserve Land Conservancy has partnered with residents, businesses, institutions and Cleveland Tree Coalition partners to reforest our city.”

Cleveland Tree Coalition Chairs Sandra Albro and Jill Ziegler; Western Reserve Land Conservancy President and CEO Rich Cochran; Breakthrough Schools CEO Alan Rosskamm, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Sustainability Manager Jenita Warner; and Holden Forests & Gardens Interim CEO Paul Abbey also provided remarks during today’s event.

The Cleveland Tree Plan and the tree canopy goal are part of Mayor Jackson’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative, a 10-year plan to create a “Green City on a Blue Lake.” It engages people from all walks of life, to work together to design and develop a thriving and resilient Cleveland region that leverages its wealth of assets to build economic, social and environmental well-being for all.

As part of its sustainability efforts, Cleveland also is celebrating the Year of Vibrant Green Space. The City encourages citizens to participate in the various events supporting environmental education, plant trees and rain gardens, purchase local foods, visit parks and more.

For more information on the Cleveland Tree Plan, the tree canopy goal and the City of Cleveland’s commitment to sustainability, visit Sustainable Cleveland at www.sustainablecleveland.org