Expanding Lancaster’s Tree Canopy
The Lancaster County Conservancy is committed to planting trees throughout Lancaster City and county.
We continue to work with the City of Lancaster to develop a strategy to increase our urban tree canopy cover from 28% to 40% within forty years; this goal is part of the City’s Green Infrastructure Plan. Over the past three years we have assisted the City in planting over 350 trees in Lancaster City’s Southeast and Northeast quadrants.
Lancaster Tree Tenders
Lancaster Tree Tenders was formed to solidify our efforts for a comprehensive program that engages the community and creates long term sustainable impact. Our purpose is “To increase and enhance Lancaster’s urban forest by engaging and empowering neighborhoods to plant and care for trees”. By engaging and training City residents we hope to capture storm water as part of the city’s effort to reduce pollution and runoff into rivers and Chesapeake Bay, increase biodiversity within the city, and beautify neighborhoods. But urban trees can have a much bigger impact than that. Studies have shown that urban trees can help save energy by reducing cooling costs, have health benefits, increase pedestrian traffic in shopping areas, and have been correlated to reduced crime. Furthermore engaging community members in working together on ongoing projects has been shown to further increase community pride and reduce crime, making our efforts doubly important.
A collaborative effort, Lancaster Tree Tenders is an initiative of the Lancaster County Conservancy Urban Greening program with partners Lancaster City Alliance and the City of Lancaster. Our first planting took place last fall in the NE of Lancaster City where neighbors and volunteers participated in a street tree training and planting of 28 trees on 5 City blocks. Efforts are underway for additional plantings in the SW and NE in 2016. These plantings are a wonderful demonstration of our efforts and the community engagement they create. Leading up to that date there will be a lot of fund raising, organization, and outreach that needs to be done and we will keep you apprised of our progress and events as they unfold.
What are the benefits of trees?
- Large tree canopies reduce erosion and stormwater management costs
- Annually, a single tree can prevent 3,440 gallons of stormwater from entering our combined sewer system
- Well-maintained trees beautify neighborhoods, increasing property values
- Trees reduce cooling and heating costs when strategically placed around buildings and roads
- Studies have shown that trees provide mental and physical health benefits by mitigating noise, reducing stress, and improving air quality
To learn more about the City of Lancaster tree program Click here.
Are you a City resident interested in planting trees? Find out more about the City’s Street Tree Planting Program here.
The Tree Benefit Calculator allows anyone to make a simple estimation of the benefits individual street-side trees provide. This tool is based on i-Tree’s street tree assessment tool called STREETS. With inputs of location, species and tree size, users will get an understanding of the environmental and economic value trees provide on an annual basis.
Franklin Terrace Tree Planting
The Lancaster County Conservancy Urban Greening and Stewardship programs recently completed an acre riparian buffer along the Conestoga Greenway and River in the Southeast of Lancaster City.
The property, known as Franklin Terrace is owned by the Lancaster City Housing Authority. The goal of the project was to have a measurable impact on the tree canopy at this 13 acre property, while educating residents, neighbors, and students about the positive impacts of trees. In addition to the buffer 40 street trees were planted last fall. 165 trees in total will help increase the tree canopy from an estimated 32% currently to close to 50%, creating a demonstration model neighborhood.
Volunteers from the neighborhood, McCaskey High School and Alcoa joined Conservancy staff and volunteers for a morning of volunteer planting. You can view images from the planting here Franklin Terrace Slideshow Oct 2013
This is one of several tree planting projects the Lancaster County Conservancy is undertaking to work with residents in planting more trees. As part of the City of Lancaster Green Infrastructure Plan and the Save It! campaign the City has established goals to increase the City tree canopy which currently measures around 28%.
This project was made possible through a generous donation from the Alcoa Foundation