1,000 trees, 1 million leaves … mark ‘Fall for your park’

Philadelphia – The clang of rakes and shovels will ring through the parks and streets of Philadelphia on Nov. 21, a day of wide-ranging activities that link the “circle of life” for the city’s trees.

The 10th annual Fall For Your Park, an event coordinated by Philadelphia Green, the urban revitalization program of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), will focus on leaf collection and mulching at 34 neighborhood parks this year. A special media event at 10 a.m. will be held at Campbell Square in the Port Richmond section, led by Mayor Michael Nutter, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis, and PHS President Jane G. Pepper. Representatives from Fairmount Park, Penn State Extension Office and other groups will join in a giant leaf cleanup in the beautiful neighborhood park.

Preparing your park for the winter months will be the message of the day, as volunteers collect fallen leaves for composting and spreading around tree trunks throughout the city. The composted leaves preserve nutrients and retain moisture for trees through the winter months.

Nov. 21 also will be the first day of a massive, two-day tree-planting effort in Philadelphia. TreeVitalize, a public-private partnership launched by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and led by PHS in Southeastern Pennsylvania, will plant 1,000 trees along streets, in parks and schoolyards over the weekend. More than 30 Tree Tenders groups who have been trained by PHS will conduct the plantings with the help of 2,000 volunteers.

Mayor Nutter’s Greenworks plan sets a goal of increasing the city’s tree canopy to 30 percent – an addition of 300,000 trees — by 2015 to help reduce air pollution and manage storm water runoff. PHS and its partners are working to support that goal.

“The Fall For Your Park and TreeVitalize programs help raise awareness of the importance of tree planting and tree care in all of our neighborhoods,” said Jane Pepper. “These efforts on Nov. 21 and 22 also put into practice what we preach. Everyone can make a contribution to preserving our green landscapes and the environmental health of our city.”

Residents can find a Tree Tenders group and the upcoming planting in their area on the PHS website, www.PHSonline.org.
Gardening equipment for the Fall For Your Park effort is being donated by Mantis.

Philadelphia Green is the nation’s leading program on urban revitalization and has served as a model for cities throughout the U.S.

Through its efforts in parks, gardens, tree plantings, urban agriculture, public landscapes, and educational programs, Philadelphia Green brings people and partners together to transform communities.

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