Erie Downtown Greening

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has partnered with key partners to plan and plant 165 trees throughout Downtown Erie with more than 150 volunteers to enhance the vitality and environment of the built environment.

Volunteers plant street trees in downtown Erie, spring 2014

Initiated by a generous gift from an Erie resident, WPC has been working with the Erie Community Foundation, Erie Downtown Partnership, City of Erie and other community groups and volunteers to restore the urban tree canopy since 2013. 
 
Conservancy staff developed an inventory map of currently existing trees and their condition as well as provided analysis and recommendations for best locations for new tree plantings in a 70-block downtown area. In addition, WPC provided a street tree management plan for the City of Erie’s Forestry Department and Downtown Erie Partnership. 
 
WPC and its partners have begun to phase-in tree plantings in the recommended locations. Sixteen different types of trees have been planted, including dogwood, maple, oak, bald cypress, eastern redbud, ginkgo and flowering cherry. The most recent planting was completed in fall 2015 with the help of volunteers from Gannon University, who planted 25 trees in Perry Square.
Street trees planted along Peach Street in downtown Erie in 2014
 

Urban trees provide shade, absorb rainwater, reduce noise pollution and increase property values. In fact, downtown Erie’s tree canopy is estimated to provide more than $85,000 per year in environmental and economic benefits. Local volunteers will care for the trees as they grow.

Volunteers gather around a successfully planted tree in downtown Erie, fall 2014.

Please visit the Map of Our Work to view all of the trees planted in Erie to date. For more information about this important project, please contact Arthur DeMeo, director of community greenspace services, at 412-586-2346 or ademeo@paconserve.org.