(KCPW News) Salt Lake County has joined the national tree bank network. The system makes it easier for the public to donate money to help the county reach its goal of planting one million trees by 2017. TreeLink Executive Director Pepper Provenzano says the program allows residents to support healthy urban forests.
“It is not at all like a real bank. It’s just like a food bank, for example,” Provenzano says. “It’s a place where people can go and act on their green intentions effortlessly and support their local community fund for trees.”
Provenzano says trees make communities healthier by improving the psychological well being of residents, helping with road safety and cleaning up the air. But he says rapid growth threatens the health of urban forests across the nation. And with Utah’s population expected to double over the next 40 years, Provenzano says municipal trees will need more funding.
“The fact is that most of our cities are legitimately struggling just to keep up with growth and essential services,” Provenzano says, “because we’re experiencing population growth like our parents never did, like our parents never did.”
Provenzano was joined this morning by Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and a handful of volunteers for the county’s first annual day of service commemorating 9/11. The group planted trees at a new playground volunteers built in July at the Northwest Recreation Center in Rose Park. More about the TreeBank program is online at itreebank.org.