The Million Tree Initiative was started in 2006 by former Denver mayor and now Gov. John Hickenlooper as part of the Green Print Denver sustainability initiative. Although the program is several years old, it is getting new life thanks to a $600,000 Department of Energy grant.
City workers along with the Mile High Youth Corps started planting trees last week using the grant and there are still plenty left for metro area homeowners.
Under the new project - dubbed Mile High Trees - 4,600 new trees will be planted in front of homes and public right-of-ways across the city and county.
Officials say planting two trees in front of homes that face west can save up to 24 percent in energy use. Planting multiple trees on one street can offer shade, dropping the temperature up to 5 degrees, according to Mile High Tree officials.
The best part, program director Sara Davis says, is there is no catch.
"It's a really great benefit to a homeowner. You get a free tree, we come out with the Mile High Youth Corps and the kids plant the tree for you, we put down mulch and all you have to do is water it," Davis said.
Program officials plan to plant 600 trees alone in the month of June. They are taking applications for the fall program in which they plan to plant 1,200 trees.
For more information, log onto the Mile High Trees website: http://www.milehighmillion.org/.