DENVER — There are many neighborhoods in Denver that are in need of more trees.
On Saturday, volunteers were working to change that by planting trees in low-canopy areas.
"What we have just planted is a Hackberry," said volunteer Lynne Brown. "We all know how important trees are for the climate. So, we are trying to increase the tree canopy so it's more pleasant to walk."
That tree is just one of 50 that will be planted in Curtis Park and Five Points this weekend.
"It helps with all the carbon in the atmosphere and it also creates more cooling for the buildings around it," said Brown. "We have so many heat islands in the city and it’s really important that we start cooling the city down with things other than air conditioners."
Brown started a tree committee for Curtis Park Neighbors three years ago, concerned about climate change.
"I find myself going from one side of the street to the other depending on where the trees are and I thought we really need to have trees lining both sides of the street," she said. "So, that's how we got started."
They got their saplings from the Park People and Denver Digs Trees, an organization that has provided more than 60,000 trees to neighborhoods over the last 38 years.
"Our tree canopy in Denver is not that high right now. I think we're under 20%, so we have a long way to go," Brown said. "If we can keep working on getting to that 30% tree canopy, that's what I would like to see."
Once the tree is straight and in place, it needs someone to take care of it.
"Putting a tree in the ground is the easy part. It's really important that they be maintained," Brown said. “Constant watering when they’re new, young trees and then they do need pruning from time to time. So, it’s really important to take care of them for the life of their tree.”
That's where Beverly Hill comes in.
"That will be amazing for me, to see it grow," Hill said.
She's taking up the responsibility of watering and caring for this newly planted Hackberry.
"It's going to be amazing," she said. "My grandkids, maybe teach them something new on how to take care of a whole tree."
Brown hopes more people, like Hill, will also want to plant and take care of a new tree.
"Eighty percent of the land that's available in Denver for planting trees are in people's yards. So, it's really important that people also start putting trees in their yards," Brown said. "Not only for climate change but to help cool things down. Plus they're really, really beautiful."
Brown said it's important to plant trees that are native to our area and can handle water shortages. She suggests Hackberry's, Kentucky Coffeetrees and Honey Locusts, to name a few.
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