Southside Richmond residents can help keep their neighborhood cool with free trees


Photo courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Southside ReLeaf and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation are partnering up to help increase tree cover south of the James in Richmond. The organizations are holding a community tree planting on Saturday, Oct. 16 and handing out freebies for people to take home.

Southside residents are eligible for up to two free native trees or shrubs. The organizations will be giving out silky dogwood, eastern redbud, tulip poplar, winterberry, and red maple plants.

The plants will be available for people to take home during a tree planting at the Hickory Hill Community Center on Saturday. People have to register ahead of time for trees. If you can’t pick up the trees, Richmond ReLeaf volunteers are able to bring the trees to your home and help with planting.

The organizations are working to bring more trees to the area as part of their Greening Southside Richmond project. With additional trees in the neighborhoods they hope to create more shade, increase the beauty in people’s yards and at curbsides, help keep air and water clean, and provide a habitat for birds and animals.

“The tree giveaway is a great way for our neighbors to plant trees in their own yards and appreciate cooling shade, reduced flooding, and the overall beauty trees provide,” said Sheri Shannon, co-founder of Southside ReLeaf. “Fall is the perfect time of year to plant trees because of the cooler weather, but should also serve as a reminder of the very hot summer we just experienced because of climate change. The city is getting hotter and hotter, and we need to increase tree canopy in the Southside to cool the environment. This is an important step in improving the health of residents.”

Anyone interested in planting trees at the community center can sign up here.

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