City Partners With Schools for New Tree Program | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

City Partners With Schools for New Tree Program

September 13, 2016

Leave a legacy – and keep the city’s school grounds green with trees. Residents can make a difference and give the gift that keeps on growing. A tax-deductible donation can make a difference in a student’s school experience.

The city of Lakewood has teamed up with the Lakewood City Schools and Keep Lakewood Beautiful to launch the Gift-a-Tree Fund, allowing donors to purchase trees for school grounds.

Lakewood City Schools Gift-a-Tree Fund Donation Form

All of the money raised goes into a special fund dedicated solely to urban forestry programs (tree purchase, planting, pruning, care, and maintenance) on Lakewood City Schools properties. Your tax-deductible donation to the Lakewood City School Gift-a-Tree Fund will support tree plantings all over Lakewood City Schools properties, and help properly care for the trees so students and the community can reap the real benefits of trees for years to come.

“Residents can leave an important legacy, putting roots down in Lakewood,” said Chris Perry, city arborist and manager of the division of streets and forestry. “We need residents’ help to grow our urban tree canopy.”

Trees are an important part of our urban environment and they provide us with many benefits. Besides the aesthetic beauty trees offer in all seasons, there are many valuable reasons to maintain and increase our urban canopy on school properties. The shade trees provide cooling benefits to people, but also reduce cooling costs of buildings and extend pavement life. Trees reduce: crime rates, cruising speeds, noise pollution, and storm-water runoff. Trees increase property values. Trees generate oxygen and remove air pollution.

With all these studies showing trees benefit students, it follows that trees benefit human health as it lowers the incidence of asthma, depression and anxiety disorders, and violent behaviors. Trees help people stay healthier. With children, the more trees that are in a child’s environment the lower the body mass index. Other studies show green school grounds with trees and gardens improve the quantity and quality of children’s physical activity. One of eight children are affected by anxiety disorders and increased risk of poor school performance and substance abuse, but studies show that nature calms and soothes children.

Overall, trees give us much more than cool shade. We all can benefit from trees, which contribute to creating a more stable economic, productive, and healthful environment.

As the city’s aging trees begin to die — many of them planted around the same time, 100 years ago — many of the warm and inviting canopies have disappeared.

The city’s forestry department has developed a comprehensive strategy to improve the tree canopy and add diversity to the variety of species around the city. In just a few years, the city’s forestry department has planted hundreds of trees around Lakewood.

The city’s strategy also includes an effort to prepare the city for climate change, add diversity to the urban forest, withstand pest infestations and storms, and add in trees with more fall colors. More trees also means less storm water runoff.

For more on the city’s tree strategy, see the city’s two recent videos: Planting Trees in Lakewood and Lakewood Working With the Tree Task Force to Improve Tree Canopy.