LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It may be hard to believe by looking around our city, but the amount of trees around Louisville is shrinking at an alarming rate.
“There was a scientific study that was done called an Urban Canopy Assessment that showed we are losing more than 54,000 every year over that study period,” Cindi Sullivan with TreesLouisville said.
According to Sullivan, the study showed Louisville’s tree canopy at only 37%.
“American Forest, which is a non-profit organization, recommends 45% for a healthy community,” Sullivan said.
To combat this problem, TreesLouisville started a new program this spring -- Community Canopy.
“(It) allows us to provide free trees for any resident of Jefferson County,” Sullivan said.
She said the Community Canopy program has been a big success so far. They started with about 870 trees to give away and only have about 200 left.
Anyone who wants a tree can visit the TreesLouisville website to sign up.
“They can can plug in their address, outline their house, outline their yard, pick a tree and the software program will tell you exactly where to plant the tree for the best ecosystem services,” Sullivan explained.
While trees add beauty to our communities, they are more important to our ecosystem.
“Trees will help to clean the air, they help manage storm water, they save us energy, they mitigate the urban heat island effect," Sullivan said. "They make us feel better.”
Sullivan asks everyone to take part in the program.
“If everybody would just plant a tree for every member of their family, we would have enough trees to improve our canopy and have a healthier community,” she said.