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Tucson's Pledge to Plant 1 Million Trees

Details and background of Tucson's pledge to plant one million trees by 2030.
May 17, 2021, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Arizona Streetscape
Jennifer G. Lang

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero in February announced a pledge to plant one million in the hot semi-arid city by 2030.

At the time, Mayor Romero joined the US Chapter Stakeholder Council, a group of public, private and nonprofit leaders committed to the restoration of 1 trillion trees globally. Quinn McVeigh reports on the city's pledge in an article providing background and details.

"Romero, urban forestry manager Nicole Gillet, and local groups such as Tucson Clean and Beautiful, are prioritizing tree-planting in low-income communities, which are disproportionately burdened by Tucson's urban heat island effect," according to McVeigh.

A 2019 report by Climate Central found that neighborhoods in the city with predominantly Latino populations are 4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average city temperature—an issue caused and exacerbated by numerous economic forces. Quinn writes: "In the desert Southwest, the extra heat that low-income neighborhoods endure often coincides with lack of air conditioning. Many households must choose between air conditioning, healthcare, and food, one University of Arizona paper said." Tucson is not alone in facing the challenge of addressing the inequities of shade and heat in U.S. urban areas.

Among the details of the plan reported in the article is a section on how Tucson will provided the water needed for the new trees to survive the ongoing, historic drought in the Southwest United States.

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Published on Friday, May 14, 2021 in The Daily Climate
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