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44 young trees planted in Tucson southwest neighborhood

Posted at 8:16 PM, Dec 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-14 22:16:15-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Dozens got together for a big community planting event in Tucson. 44 trees are now planted in the Barrio Santa Cruz neighborhood all thanks to a campaign called trees for Tucson - put on by Tucson Clean and Beautiful.

"The benefits of trees is numerous, especially in our specific aired-climate. I mean, obviously shade trees are great for parking. They help combat the urban heat island effect. So the heat that we make with asphalt emissions, trees can help to bring that down," said Randall Port, with TCB.

Port also said planting trees can have mental health benefits as well; making people happier and feel healthier.

Before planting day, the organization makes sure the neighborhood is equipped and agrees to take care of the trees long after they're in the ground.

"We make sure the people are willing to take care of the trees. But we also use desert adaptive, desert native species that are going to be low-water use and low care to make it easier," said Port.

When TCB offered this program to Barrio Santa Cruz, the neighborhood association jumped at the chance.

"It just really helps the community come together as a whole and it really helps the attitude of the neighborhood, the positivity. Once we started improving the neighborhood, people got really excited and this is one event that a lot of the neighbors got excited about and wanted to be a part of," said Jason Huaraque, Barrio Santa Cruz resident who is also a part of the neighborhood association.

Excited and grateful for the opportunity and experience.

"We do follow up emails later just reminding of watering schedule and we get a lot of great feedback. We get cards, we get good reviews, and they love what we do out here," said Port.

This was TCB's last big planting event of 2019. In total for this year, the group planted close to 6,000 trees.