Tucson Mayor Regina Romero promised to have one million trees planted by 2030 when she took office in 2020. So far, almost 60,000 have been planted.
In collaboration with Tucson Clean and Beautiful, volunteers plant upwards of 100 trees every Saturday morning between October and March. Natasha Chhabra, the Tucson Million Trees Program Coordinator, says that the program works to amplify trees that are made for the desert climate.
“We are keeping in mind the fact that resources are going to be scarce as we move forward in the future,” Chhabra said. “We want to make sure that these trees will still survive and thrive without a bunch of water.”
The program works to improve tree equity to combat rising temperatures due to climate change, especially in heat-vulnerable neighborhoods. Residents may be able to report new trees that are planted on the city’s website.
Trees are offered for free or at a discounted price if the neighborhood tree equity score is below .70. To see what score each area has, head to the Tree Equity Dashboard for more information.
This program is one of several the city has implemented to combat climate change, including Green Stormwater Infrastructure and Tucson Resilient Together, a new climate action plan that is expected to be released in January 2023.