Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation invites the residents of Fort Wayne to improve the quality of air, reduce urban heat and improve cognitive function and mental fatigue by planting more trees. All of those benefits and many more are experienced when trees are present in the environment. If the price of purchasing and planting trees sounds expensive, there is good news. The Citizen-Match Tree Planting Program offers a variety of shade tree options for just $50 per tree while supplies last. Trees will have a 1 to 1.5 inch diameter trunk and stand six to 10 feet in height. The price includes planting the tree in the park strip between the street and the property line as well as oversight by the City Arborist. This oversight doesn’t stop after the tree is planted. The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Forestry Team is responsible to maintain the publicly-owned urban canopy comprised of approximately 50,000 street trees along nearly 1300 miles of roadway as well as 20,000 trees found within the its 87 parks. In order to achieve the best outcomes, the application provides clear instructions for tree placement within the public park strip along the street. Citizen-match trees may not be planted on private property. If someone is still concerned about the price, they can check the fee waiver option which is based on household size and income. Trees will be planted in the fall between October 1 and December 31.
When asked how this program benefits homeowners and the city of Fort Wayne, superintendent of Urban Forestry Derek Veit said, “Trees offer significant financial benefits through reduced energy costs and increased property values. Some of the environmental benefits include decreased energy consumption, stormwater management, and decreased ground and air pollutants.” Veit continued, “Trees tie neighborhoods to community and increase connections between neighbors. Our City’s tree canopy is a critical element of our infrastructure that sets us apart from many other communities.”
To participate, residents can fill out an application found online www.fortwayneparks.org/street-trees/street-tree-application-main.html by July 1, 2022. People can also call 260-427-6400 or stop by the Lawton Park to pick up and submit a paper copy.
Masks are recommended inside city and park facilities but are no longer required as of March 1, 2022.