Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and her family planted a London Planetree in Riverside Park Saturday, marking the 1,000th tree planted in the City’s westside neighborhoods in 2020. The 1,000 Trees Initiative was one of the Mayor’s campaign promises to Salt Lakers to add 1,000 more trees, and the benefits they provide, to the City’s westside every year she is in office.
“I’m so happy to have planted this tree in the ground today. This moment marks an important goal for our City realized, and while we couldn’t all be there together to celebrate, I’m heartened by the years of benefits our city’s residents will gain from the 1,000 trees we planted this year,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “By adding an additional 1,000 trees over and above what we typically do, we stand to actually increase our urban forest year after year. I can’t thank our partners, volunteers, and our City teams enough for seeing this through.”
The effort was designed to improve environmental equity by specifically planting in westside neighborhoods that typically endure the worst air quality in the city. It took on greater significance when the COVID-19 pandemic found people spending more time in their neighborhoods and parks, and again when hurricane-force winds tore through the valley on Sept. 8, downing thousands of trees citywide.
In spite of the additional workload the City’s teams faced in the wake of the windstorm, they stayed on track, completing what would have been an ambitious goal even in a typical year.
“Planting the 1,000th tree represents a milestone in the City’s long term goal of growing and sustaining a healthy urban forest and all the benefits it brings,” said Lorna Vogt, Director of the Department of Public Services. “The future depends on efforts like this to keep our growing city the beautiful, livable place we and future generations need.”
Salt Lake City could not have accomplished the 1,000 Trees Initiative without the help of non-profit groups and financial backers, including:
- The Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation, which donated $100,000 to the initiative, as well as hundreds of additional trees
- TreeUtah, who has facilitated donations and tree planting in the wake of the windstorm
- Dominion Energy, who donated 205 trees and provided volunteers to plant them
- Swire Coca-Cola, which has donated $10,000 toward 2021 plantings
“TreeUtah is a nonprofit that plants trees with volunteer groups around the entire state, but Salt Lake is our home,” said Amy May, Executive Director. “We are grateful to Mayor Mendenhall for recognizing the benefits that trees provide to our community and the need for equitable distribution of tree canopy throughout all of our neighborhoods. Congratulations Salt Lake City for planting the thousandth tree on the westside!”
Thanks to community buy-in and support from partners, Salt Lake City is on a great path to continue the 1,000 Trees Initiative in 2021.
“Over the course of this year’s tree planting work, which saw more than 2,000 new trees get installed, the Salt Lake City Urban Forestry Division has learned a lot,” said Tony Gliot, Director of the Urban Forestry Division. “The entire division is excited to continue expanding the City’s tree canopy in 2021 and is looking forward to working with more and more city residents to keep our urban forest growing.”