With just 20 percent of the city's land covered by trees, Philadelphia has one of the smallest tree canopies of any of the major cities in the Northeast.
This is troubling when you factor in the fact that, according to NASA GISS and the NOAA, the average global temperature has steadily risen since 1998 with the last five years being the hottest on record.
One way to combat rising temperatures and environmental shifts is to plant more trees, a mission that the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has undertaken with their Tree Tenders program. Additional trees and plant life not only have obvious aesthetic benefits but improve air quality, shelter wildlife, prevent stormwater runoff, and keep city streets cooler. Research also shows that trees have additional health benefits such as reducing mental fatigue, reducing anxiety, and combating obesity by promoting more outdoor play time for children.
To help restore the region's tree canopy, PHS's Tree Tenders planted just over 1,600 trees in Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania in 2018. This year, the team has already planted 771 trees and will be adding another estimated 857 trees during their fall seasonal tree planting weekend on November 16th and November 17th.
Increasing green space in Philadelphia, whether it's with trees, landscaping, or community gardens, is just one of the many initiatives of PHS. In fact, some of Philadelphia's most historical landmarks are surrounded by the work of PHS including all the way up and down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
PHS and the Philadelphia Water Department are also leading the charge on Rain Check, Philadelphia's residential stormwater management system. If you're a resident of Philadelphia, or just visited for a day, you've likely experienced some of the work that PHS has done throughout the city.
PHeaSt, PHS's annual fall fundraiser, supports PHS and its mission to build beautiful, healthy, sustainable communities by connecting people to horticulture. The event will feature an exclusive menu, handcrafted seasonal cocktails, and live music in a setting arranged by the area's leading horticulture professionals.
To learn more about PHS and their mission, please visit Gardening for the greater Good.
To learn more about PHS Tree Tenders or to get involved, please visit Tree Tenders.
To learn more about the Rain Check program and how to attain free or discounted tools for stormwater management, please visit Rain Check.
You can support PHS by attending PHeaSt, on October 17 at the PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street. Tickets are available now, purchase here.