City launches program to plant trees, boost canopy - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

City launches program to plant trees, boost canopy

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The city of San Diego Thursday kicked off a program to plant 500 trees in Sherman Heights, Lincoln Park, Grantville and surrounding neighborhoods.

The goal is to increase San Diego's tree canopy, part of the city's plan to address climate change.

"When we plant more trees, we are making our neighborhoods greener and our air cleaner," said Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who helped plant trees in Sherman Heights. "Every additional tree gets us a step closer to reaching our goal of creating a sustainable future for generations of San Diegans."

A recent study showed tree coverage in the city was at 13 percent, 2 percentage points short of the climate plan's target by the year 2020.

"Trees are incredible multi-taskers and provide so many environmental benefits like sequestering carbon dioxide, capturing storm water, reducing energy costs, extending the life of pavement, increasing property values and providing habitat for wildlife," said Jeremy Barrick, the city's urban forestry program manager.

"Reaching the urban tree canopy cover goals in the climate action plan starts with preserving the existing established trees we already have, and that begins with watering them," Barrick said. "We need everyone to water and maintain the trees we have and plant new trees where appropriate."

A $750,000 grant from Cal Fire paid for the trees and for consultants who conducted a citywide tree inventory and the canopy study.

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