Jeff Humphrey

Free Trees for Your Neighborhood

Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308

Friday, April 28, 2023 at 3:05 p.m.

The City of Spokane, in partnership with the Lands Council, is planting free shade trees in your neighborhood.

“The City of Spokane’s Urban Forestry Department has a goal of increasing Spokane’s average canopy coverage to 30 percent by the year 2030,” explained Justyce Brant of The Lands Council.

In late April, volunteers, including a crew on loan from Teck American Incorporated, shouldered picks and shovels and started planting trees in the medians along streets in West Central and Northeast Spokane.

“We’re not messing around. We’re planting some larger trees. They’re about 10-15 feet tall. So, at the end of this event, we will have planted 55 trees with the help of volunteers,” Brant said proudly.

The City of Spokane’s SpoCanopy program is now in its fourth year of operation.

Katie Kosanke, with the Spokane Urban Forestry Department, recently inspected the results of a 2022 planting project along Courtland Avenue.

“These are trees that we actually put in last year and this program is fantastic. We are planting street trees in the neighborhoods, that have the fewest trees, that need them the most. For the many, many benefits that trees provide. Such as, environmental, social , economic, and human health benefits. We’ve got a Ginkgo that we’ve planted. We also have Linden and some Magnolias we’ve planted up the street,” Kosanke said of the flourishing trees.

Last year, Courtland Avenue resident Vicki Houtary signed up to have a pair of free trees planted in her median.

“I was excited because there was absolutely nothing here and I thought the trees would add some shade and get birds coming, and stuff like that. And so, I’ve just really enjoyed having them,” Houtary said with a smile.

“Our SpoCanopy program, over the past four years, has been so successful due to the grants we have received from the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Ecology that have funded this program for four years helping us to keep trees in the ground. Helping us to plant new trees and increase urban canopy coverage in Spokane,” Brant said of the trees that can keep homes cooler in the summer.

“Folks can just sign up for a SpoCanopy tree through The Lands Council website and then we can vet the locations to see where the tree would be most appropriately planted and, if you’ve got sufficient right of way,” detailed Kosanke.

“I would love to encourage all of my neighbors to participate in the SpoCanopy tree program,” added Houtary.

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