Through the ReLeaf Program, the Cincinnati Parks Department has already given away almost 20,000 trees.
The annual ReLeaf program began in 1988 with a mission to provide trees for homeowners who either have lawns that are too narrow to be planted by Urban Forestry or for those with conflicting utility service structures. The program has expanded to include schools, community areas, and other public green spaces. New in 2020: backyard trees!
The Park Board’s Urban Forestry division works hard to bring each residential neighborhood up to 40% tree canopy coverage to help improve the impacts of air pollution, urban heat island effect, residential energy demands, and storm water management. A single large canopy deciduous tree, such as an oak or sycamore, can help control 400 to 1,000 gallons of stormwater through canopy interception. This benefits homeowners by reducing soil erosion and manage flooding from rainfall.
The program has blossomed to include community and school involvement and a more diverse tree species selection. The trees are planted in front yards of homes and schools to provide the beauty and energy-saving shade of a street tree without the costly conflicts with overhead utilities.
Eligible participants are provided a tree to plant in their front yard, providing the beauty and energy-saving benefits street trees bring. Interested in participating? Please follow this link for more information, tree selection and the application form..