AZSA Plants More Than 100 Trees and Plants for School Centennial

The Arizona Sustainability Alliance (AZSA) and Emerson Elementary School recently collaborated to plant over 100 new trees, pollinators and shrubs on the school campus to provide shade and better air quality for students worked together to achieve this goal.

More than 125 volunteers, in partnership with Emerson Elementary School and supported by APS, G Road, Phoenix One Foundation, Trees Matter, My Central Phoenix Realtor, Banner University Medical Center Phoenix, and other donors, held a tree-planting event on Feb. 27 in celebration of Emerson School’s 100-year history.

AZSA’s Tree Planting Program was responsible for coordinating the event. The initiative aims to increase shade canopy within urban spaces by incorporating native and desert-adapted trees into the landscape and educating local residents on the benefits of urban forestry. Kayla Killoren, AZSA’s Tree Planting Programs Manager, was pleased with the event turnout and excited about the benefits the plants will bring to the Emerson community.

“It was really inspiring to see over 100 volunteers from the community and various organizations come together to support Emerson. We planted over 100 native and desert-adapted trees and plants to mitigate the urban heat island effect, improve mental health and air quality, and beautify their campus,” she said.

Regions in need of urban forestry development are often identified using the American Forests Tree Equity Score Tool. This index determines need by identifying social and economic factors such as unemployment rates and poverty levels, as well as ecological factors like average temperature and existing tree cover. The region where Emerson Elementary School is located had a tree canopy cover of only 9 percent. The completion of this project helped bring the area closer to its goals.

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