Reno’s ReLEAF effort on Saturday, Oct. 19 drew about 50 community volunteers for a tree planting at Virginia Lake Park. ReLEAF Reno, a city-sponsored program, is aimed at increasing the overall canopy of trees within the city while also protecting the current canopy. A total of 40 trees were planted by volunteers.
Through ReLEAF Reno, the city has held two tree planting events annually for the past three years focused around the timeframes of Arbor Day and Shade Tree Week.
The current tree canopy covers 5.2 percent of the city, and ReLEAF Reno has a goal to increase it to 10 percent coverage.
According to the ReLEAF Reno website, the benefits of having trees within city limits include: removing carbon dioxide from the air, filtering air pollutants, reducing stormwater run-off, recharging groundwater, providing shade, cutting costs for heating and cooling, increasing property values, boosting business and tourism, and contributing to physical, mental, and social well-being.
Reno’s Vice Mayor Naomi Duerr kicked off the morning with a background discussion of ReLEAF Reno before planting began.
“Trees have a natural lifespan and many of the trees here were planted in the late 1800s and early 1900s, so some of those trees are reaching their lifespan of 100-125 years. The trees we are planting today will provide benefits for 100-plus years. To get to the 10 percent coverage, we will need to plant trees in both public and private spaces,” Duerr said.
“We want to have a mix of trees in the park, and currently you can see a lot of evergreens and yellow autumn leaves, so today we are focusing on trees with fall colors of red and orange to add a very colorful component to this park.”
Duerr added that one of ReLEAF Reno’s goals is an education for residents that want to plant a tree. Saturday’s half-hour lesson included on how to plant a tree and properly set up irrigation, how much water to use, the importance of mulch, and how to obtain trees to plant.
The City of Reno recently provided up to 200 trees at a discounted price to residents, allowing for a more affordable option to plant larger trees on private spaces.
Chip Drop was mentioned as an organization that provides free mulch and residents are encouraged to utilize this service.
Residents can contact the City of Reno to inquire about memorial trees for events such as births or deaths.
Three ways to help the City of Reno achieve its canopy goals:
- Donate to the City’s ReLEAF program which will plant and care for new trees with donations.
- Maintain the health of street trees and trees on your property through proper watering and care.
- Plant a new tree on your property and provide watering and care to keep trees healthy and flourishing.
Visit the ReLEAF Reno online for more information: https://www.reno.gov/government/departments/parks-recreation-community-services/urban-forestry/releaf-reno