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City of Sacramento wants to plant more trees to address inequity between neighborhoods

Sacramento working to double city's tree canopy by 2045
Sacramento working to double city's tree canopy by 2045 03:02

SACRAMENTO - The city of trees is looking to plant more trees in underserved communities. Sacramento's Urban Forest Plan is looking to double the amount of tree canopy by 2045.

Tree canopies cover some parts of the city like Land Park and East Sacramento, but neighborhoods in north and south Sacramento have little tree relief from the triple-digit heat beating down.

"Trees really make a big difference in how comfortable we are and how safe we are in our neighborhoods," said Rachel Patten, a specialist with the City of Sacramento's sustainability program.

Patten said the city is launching its Urban Forest Plan to address the inequity.

"A lot of the youth are staying inside because of the heat," said Derrick Stephens, who works in Del Paso Heights, one of the areas with fewer trees.

There is not one clear reason why some neighborhoods have more trees than others, but Patten said it stems from when the neighborhoods were developed, what the planning standards were at that time and the availability of resources.

"There were some researchers recently in the last couple years that did a study and found that in areas where there are higher levels of tree canopy, the temperature in the summer can vary as much as 20 degrees from neighborhood to neighborhood," Patten said.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui recently helped secure Sacramento $2 million in federal funding so it can expand its tree canopies to underserved communities.

"You want to see young people feel like they can go outside and sit under the trees," Matsui said.

This money came after CBS13 uncovered a city document in February saying Sacramento had no more money to plant trees in its own parks.

"Neighborhoods are going to be more attractive," Matsui said. "People are going to want to come there and live there if you have trees."

The city spends just under $7 million annually for tree maintenance but is working to secure more grants to reach its tree-planting goals.

"Trees bring shade, and they bring a sense of air," Stephens said.

It is a welcomed plan for people in Del Paso Heights, to provide shade from the sun on the hottest of days.

The city currently is asking for the community's input on this tree-planting plan. That Urban Forest Plan survey is upon until Friday, June 21.

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