The effects of trees on cities are just now starting to be understood. A healthy tree canopy provides cities a multitude of benefits including but not limited to energy conservation, improving air quality, controlling traffic speed, absorbing and filtering storm water, and improving walkability. Trees also add to quality of place.
The benefits of urban trees are fully utilized when planted in the tree lawn between a sidewalk and streets. Planting new trees in the tree lawn parallel to the road helps our neighborhoods both functionally and aesthetically. It is no secret that South Bend is facing a big challenge ahead achieving our Long Term Control Plan limiting the amount of rain water entering out sewers. Having more thirsty trees in our tree lawns will help with this project our entire City faces. Trees placed in proper spacing on a tree lawn also provide a long term investment that improve with age. As they mature and grow, the trees begin to form a cathedral like ceiling to the street furthering the sense of place and improving safety.
Through the past few years, South Bend has experienced a number of powerful and damaging thunderstorms. These storms have left our tree lawns vacant and bare. My project proposes that we begin the process of repopulating South Bend's tree lawns. With a hopeful partnership with the City of South Bend and local neighborhood associations, ReForest South Bend will focus on one or two neighborhoods hit hardest by the recent storms. Individual residents may apply to have a young tree given to them for planting in the tree lawn. The individual will plant the tree themselves and be given information on the best way to maintain and care for the young tree.
Through the simple process of adding trees back into our urban neighborhoods, especially in neighborhoods that have recently lost mature trees, we can improve the quality of life in South Bend. An awesome City is one that embraces the powerful benefits of urban trees.
Funded by South Bend, IN (June 2018)