Growing green spaces, one tree at a time

Aren’t trees beautiful? Of course, they are! And all communities deserve to have the benefits that trees and green spaces provide. That’s one reason why we believe our partnership with The Lands Council is so important.

The Lands Council works to bring more trees back into urban areas. SpoCanopy was formed by The Lands Council with an initiative to increase the urban canopy in economically and environmentally disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout Spokane.

Here’s why that goal matters. Planting a tree near your home or street can:

SpoCanopy’s effort is in alignment with the city’s goal to increase urban tree canopy cover from 23% to 40% by 2030. That’s a lot of trees to plant! The partnership between The Lands Council and Avista is uniquely suited to ensure the long-term canopy growth of all those new trees.

“It’s important to pick the right species of tree for the location you want to plant it in,” said Ben Kappen, Avista’s vegetation management program administrator. “Before planting any vegetation, it makes sense to plan ahead now to avoid having to trim or remove trees in the future because they may eventually grow too close to your utilities.”

The Lands Council staff and their volunteers conduct extensive outreach throughout neighborhoods and identify places where trees are needed and where residents are willing to care for them.

“SpoCanopy works to ensure every person in every neighborhood in Spokane has access to trees and green space,” said Chelsea Updegrove, director of development and communications for The Lands Council.

SpoCanopy sets out to plant 100 trees this year and another 200 next year. 30 of this year’s trees were planted in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood this spring and 30 more during the Avista-sponsored community tree planting event in celebration of Earth Day.

Additionally, SpoCanopy hosted a free tree giveaway event that provided 2,021 trees to Spokane residents, specifically in neighborhoods where more tree canopy is needed most.

Right Tree Right Place

When planting trees, make sure to avoid overhead power lines and buried utilities by calling 811 at least two business days before digging. Branches and roots that grow too close to your utilities can potentially cause power outages or other unsafe situations. With thoughtful planning and proper tree selection, you can enjoy your trees for years to come. And so will the rest of the neighborhood!

Learn more about vegetation management.


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