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APS Community Tree Program provides free trees to vulnerable communities
Organizations can apply online now for tree planting project support
In an effort to create greater access to environmental and cooling benefits of trees, Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) is accepting applications for the APS Community Tree program. Often the most vulnerable communities have the least amount of tree cover so to help provide shade and cooler spaces in areas that need it most, non-profit organizations, Title 1 schools, neighborhood associations, block watch groups, and cities, towns and municipalities in limited-income areas within the APS service territory will be given priority for support.
Planting just a few trees can greatly impact overall temperatures. Shaded surfaces may be up to 45 degrees cooler than the peak temperature of unshaded surfaces. A study by The Nature Conservancy projects the average number of days recording a high temperature of at or above 110 degrees in Phoenix will grow from 12 to up to 42 by 2030. It also noted that some neighborhoods are already as much as 13 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than others, and that these neighborhoods have the least number of trees and the highest levels of child poverty. Planting trees now can help mitigate the impacts of heat and protect against rising temperatures.
“Urban communities often face the impact of the heat island effect the most and this program is designed to help provide relief to the people and neighborhoods that need it,” said Miguel Bravo, APS Manager of Community Partnerships. “Creating cooler, healthier spaces, empowering the communities we serve to protect the environment and our own commitment to serve customers with 100% clean and carbon-free energy are important to a more sustainable future for Arizona.”
Applicants may request a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $10,000 for tree-planting projects. Funding may be used to purchase trees that are appropriate for the location and climate where they are being planted, tree stakes and ties.
For information on the program, including help on where to plant and how to select the right tree for your site, visit the APS Community Tree program page on aps.com.