FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, NOVEMBER 12, 2019
TREE PLANTING PROGRAM GETS A BOOST FROM COUNCIL COMMITTEE
HONOLULU — The Honolulu City Council Parks, Community Service and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee today urged the City Administration to establish an island-wide adopt-a-tree program.
The adopt-a-tree program would address climate change and other concerns expressed by residents all around Oahu, said Councilmember Kym Pine, author of the resolution. Urban trees reduce air pollution; improve water quality; provide wildlife habitat; stabilize street temperatures; create shade; act as sound and wind barriers; reduce surface storm water runoff; increase property values; improve mental health; provide places for recreation and help to create a sense of place.
The Parks and Recreation Departments Division of Urban Forestry is working with a non-profit on a pilot adopt-a-tree project in Kailua. The Division and Smart Trees Pacific are involving residents who volunteer to care for newly planted City trees; they help tree-adopters and they survey neighborhoods to determine where new trees might be planted.
We have a successful pilot program in Kailua, but people all over the island want to participate, Councilmember Pine said.
At todays committee hearing, Parks and Recreation Director Michelle Nekota expressed support for the resolution. We of course love our trees and thank Councilmember Pine for introducing Resolution 19-279 and we really appreciate that. We have this 100,000-tree goal by 2025, she said. In March 2019, the Mayors Administration committed to increase the total canopy size on Oahu to 35 percent by 2035.
The full Honolulu City Council will next consider the resolution.
Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine represents residents of District One, comprising portions of Ewa Villages and Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Makakilo, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nnkuli, Mili, Waianae, Mkaha, Keaau and Makua