City employees are scheduled to hand out free saplings until 1:00 today, unless supplies run out sooner.
Up to 1,000 Pittsburgh residents will receive free dogwood trees on the portico of the City-County Building on Grant Street. The small trees are handed out on a “first come, first serve” basis.
Pittsburgh’s Urban Forester Lisa Ceoffe says the effort is part of the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh program, which aims to plant 20,000 trees across the city by 2012.
“I’m really happy and proud to say that at the end of this spring season, we’ll be close to 10,000 trees, and that’s since the start of the program, TreeVitalize, in 2008,” says Ceoffe. “These trees are a way for residents to participate in our overall count. They can go online, register the tree, and basically feel like they participated in greening the city.”
Chris Josephs of Forest Hills says the program is a step in the right direction.
“It’s a reinforcement of our increased awareness of our environment, which is always good,” says Josephs. “Pittsburgh is on the forefront of the greening of buildings. Myself has always been interested in helping the environment. I think it’s a way forward and it’s a merit badge for our city.”
Cathy Sweeney of Edgewood came with her granddaughter to get a tree for their yard.
“We’re going to plant it, and watch it grow,” says Sweeney. “It takes a long time, but we’re looking forward to it.”