Applications are now available for residents to apply for a free shade tree as part of the City’s new “set-back” tree planting initiative.
The program is being administered in partnership with the RI Tree Council. The City currently has 25 shade trees available with selections including Tulip Tree, Pin Oaks, and Red Oaks.
Residents can download applications from the RI Tree Council website at www.ritree.org/tree-care/70-2019-neighborhood-planting-projects. Applications can also be requested by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 764-5885.
Mayor Joseph Solomon said that no taxpayer money is being used to fund the program, which is being paid for primarily through impact fees and “fee-in-lieu” from commercial and residential development projects in the city.
The mayor noted that trees provide many environmental benefits, including the reduction of heat island effect, reductions in storm water runoff, and improved air quality.
The goal of the program is to increase the tree canopy cover in the city that has been lost over the years due to ongoing development, he said.
The city’s ongoing efforts in this regard were recently recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation. Solomon recently announced that the national organization has named Warwick a 2018 Tree City USA in honor of the city’s commitment to effective urban forest management.
In order to earn this distinction, the city needed to meet four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.