We love planting trees. That’s why we plant 10 trees for each item purchased on our store. Trees are great, and the city of Manchester in the United Kingdom apparently agrees. The English city is planning to plant one tree for each of its 3 million citizens.
Manchester is not well known for being a green place. It was the heart of the industrial revolution for England; its skyline filled with huge chimneys and smokestacks pumping smoke into the air. The city was truly gray.
Of course, the industrial revolution is over and the city is changing its image. It’s a huge tourist destination and a city of science, innovation, and culture. The filthy, Dickensian image of Manchester is long gone. The city is much greener now, and it’s about to be even more so.
The 3 million trees will be planted over the next 25 years, an ambitious beautification goal. Manchester proper is home to only 500,000 people, but the greater metropolitan area is home to 3 million, which is why they settled on that number.
In addition to this goal, the city will be reviving 2,000 hectares of neglected woodlands near the city.
So far, 94,380 trees have been planted. 846 of them are fruit-bearing trees, providing food security to the city, and 318 have been planted along streets, helping remove pollution from the air.
Of course, it’s not just beauty and clean air that’s driving this initiative – the city of Manchester wants to help people connect to the environment in a more meaningful way.
“We want to engage people a lot more in their natural environment,” City of Trees director Tony Hothersall told the BBC. “In planting trees; in managing areas; in understanding more about the benefits that trees and woodlands bring our society.”
Urban trees have an incredible impact on the communities in which they’re planted. They reduce flooding, improve air quality, and keep cities cooler in the summer, reducing demand on the local grid. In some cities, tree planting programs have found that for every dollar spend on planting trees in cities, more than $5 is saved.
More cities should take advantage of the benefits of tree planting, especially as the planet becomes warmer and air quality takes a hit.