Tell City of Phoenix Mayor & Council that Trees and Shade are a PRIORITY!
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The City’s Tree & Shade Master Plan was adopted by City Council in 2010, and calls for preserving, protecting, and increasing the urban tree canopy across the city to achieve 25 percent coverage by 2030.
Though the plan was adopted in 2010, citizens have seen little effort to accomplish the goals and requirements set out in the plan. The community-led Citizen Tree and Shade Committee, spearheaded by local groups The Urban Phoenix Project and Rogue Green, brought 18 residents with expertise and passion together to create a set of ordinance guidelines for Phoenix. Modeled on best practices from other cities, but shaped for our arid climate, this document was created to help Phoenix accomplish the goals the City created, but has thus far failed to implement.
The effort was sparked in November of last year when the owner of downtown Renaissance Square development planned to remove large ficus trees from their plaza and replace the shade trees with palm trees. There was significant backlash and confusion surrounding not only the removal of the large shade trees, but also the lack of transparency and notice to the community. A petition was created that received 3400 signatures to save the trees. These trees were ultimately cut down, but the building owner did plant shade trees in their place due to the public outcry.
On April 4th, a group of Phoenix residents, led by local business owner Dwayne Allen, presented a Citizen’s Petition at the Formal City Council meeting to push for meaningful action on trees and shade in Phoenix.
The petition demands that the council officially establish a citizen committee responsible for monitoring and guiding the City’s Tree & Shade Master Plan. The petition also asks the City to implement the ordinance guidelines the volunteer group created to preserve, protect, and increase trees and shade in Phoenix, with an emphasis on both public health and environmental justice.
The resident-led committee encourages anyone who is passionate about shade, walkability, and sustainability in Phoenix to sign and share this petition to voice support for meaningful actions surrounding trees and shade, and to attend the Council meeting this Wednesday in support of the citizen-led petition.
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