Reforesting the Forest City: Learn about Cleveland's tree plan

Did you know that Cleveland used to be known as the “Forest City?” This was because our city promoted reforestation efforts, improving our urban landscape and tree canopy (the layer of leaves, branches and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above), earning Cleveland the nickname.

But since the 1950s, the city has lost nearly half our street trees. The tree canopy stands at just 19 percent, putting us behind cities such as Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Boston and even New York, some of whose canopies are almost double ours. Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, improving public health, increasing real estate value, sustaining wildlife … these are just a few of the reasons why we should care about Cleveland’s tree canopies. Our urban forests affects our health, prosperity and the overall quality of our lives.

Today our challenge is to return the canopy of trees to that of the past. The Cleveland’s planning commission adopted a 25-year-old plan to halt the rapid shrinkage of the city’s tree canopy and increase growth. Through collaboration with groups such as LAND Studio and Western Reserve Land Conservancy, among others, there is tremendous hope to reforest the Forest City.

To learn more about the The Cleveland Tree Coalition and the 25-year Cleveland Tree Plan, join us at Westlake Porter Public Library on Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Dover Room. Sandra Albro from the Holden Arboretum and Cathi Lehn from the city of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability will be here to discuss the collaborative efforts to create a greener future for our city.

This program is sponsored by the Westlake Garden Club. Please register by calling 440-871-2600 or visiting

Cathleen Samiec

Adult Program Associate at the Westlake Porter Public Library

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Volume 10, Issue 21, Posted 10:01 AM, 11.06.2018