Press release from Asheville GreenWorks:
Asheville GreenWorks is pleased to announce it has received a $100,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation. The Foundation annually provides more than $30 million in charitable grants, with a focus on three areas: K to career, the environment and community impact. Asheville GreenWorks’ grant will go toward education, training neighborhood tree keepers, launching a PR campaign on the benefits and care of urban trees, strengthening the Treasured Trees program and holding two tree giveaways in the spring and fall to give away 800 trees to Asheville residents.
The focus of the Love Our Trees public awareness and educational campaign is the state of the city’s urban forests, why it’s important trees stay healthy, and how the community can be better stewards of Asheville’s urban trees.
“The grant from Duke Energy is a huge boost to caring for our urban forests in Asheville and Buncombe County,” says Dawn Chávez, executive director of GreenWorks. “Trees cool our environment, lower energy costs year-round, clean the air, provide habitat for wildlife and increase the natural beauty of our surroundings.”
Urban forests include all trees in the city limits on public and private land. Research has shown Asheville’s urban forests are under stress and rapidly shrinking. A preliminary canopy study in 2017 showed an approximate loss of about 1,250 acres of tree cover in the city limits over the last decade, from 55 percent to 47 percent.
Asheville GreenWorks’ Love Our Trees campaign will shine a light on positive local initiatives, including the revival of the Asheville Treasured Trees program and a push for the city to adopt its first urban forest master plan and hire an urban forester, which it did not approve in the budget for the current fiscal year. Additionally, unlike most Southern cities, Asheville currently has virtually no ordinances in place to protect its trees. The Duke Foundation grant will help Asheville GreenWorks support a public awareness campaign, an Arbor Day celebration, and a variety of community activities.
For more information, contact Dawn Chavez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-254-1776.