FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The environmental benefits of trees are well known from childhood: they give us breathable air. But at Tuesday’s Fort Wayne City Council meeting, Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation pushed for more trees to be planted in the city for completely different benefits.
“What fascinated me is the social and public health benefits of trees,” said Derek Veit, the superintendent of forestry operation with Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation.
The presentation was part of a request for $250,580 to go toward the department’s annual fall tree planting.
The plan is to plant 997 trees with the contractor Shade Trees Unlimited, who was the lowest responsible bidder.
Two of the places mentioned for planting were 100 trees for the Harvester Neighborhood in celebration of their 100-year anniversary and 90 trees slated for a neighborhood in the “near-northwest” side of town for a crime prevention pilot program.
“I think it’s great to look at trees for solving the concerns of today,” Veit said. “It’s been proven that a 10% increase in canopy cover can reduce crime by 12%.”
The trees will also be purposefully planted to reduce noise by acting as barriers and slowing down traffic in some areas of town psychologically.
“This is another intentional planting to calm traffic in the area by narrowing the perception as you drive through,” Veit said.
The trees are being planted through strategic partnerships with developments, and other locations have been chosen by Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation to fill in areas that are lacking tree canopies.
To learn more about the program and the varieties of trees that will be planted, you can check out the website on the tree planting program.
The plan was given a do-pass recommendation by City Council on Tuesday.