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Root Cause: City Council Moves Ahead On Effort To Celebrate Pittsburgh Trees

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Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday morning preliminarily approved the creation of a new Significant Tree Registry proposed by the Department of Public Works and the city’s Shade Tree Commission. The program will recognize notable trees in Pittsburgh in a bid to encourage their maintenance and protection.

Though the registry will inventory Pittsburgh’s trees, City Forester Lisa Ceoffe said engaging the public is the primary goal. Residents will nominate trees they think are significant based on a number of traits -- including tree size, species type, age, environmental value, and historical significance.

“This basically is to celebrate trees across the city,” Ceoffe said. “So the intent is that these significant trees are identified for the general public to enjoy.”

An interactive map online will show the locations of all the trees in the registry. Markers and tags are also planned to educate passersby.

The registry expects to launch during the winter. And while Ceoffe said the process for actually selecting which trees get registered has yet to be developed, she predicted that residents could likely expect to see tags on trees within a year.

Ceoffe says the program could give Pittsburghers new appreciation for their natural surroundings.

“They probably appreciate the trees, but there might be some other things that we can point out around those trees that may cause a second look,” she said.

Margaret Fleming is a newsroom production assistant from Chicago, IL. She's a rising junior studying journalism at Northwestern University and covers sports at the student radio station, WNUR. Margaret can be reached at mfleming@wesa.fm.
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