Protect our tree canopy

Protect our tree canopy

To the editor:

As a Boy Scout, I have learned to love the outdoors and nature; and the importance of trees for our environment. So I was excited to hear that our city is an “Eco-City,” but I was disappointed to learn that our city’s tree canopy is declining.

There are a few essential things that everyone can do in order to protect and increase our city’s tree canopy. The most important thing everyone can do to help our city’s tree canopy is protect the trees it already has. For example, if you are a homeowner and have a tree, you should try to protect it! Also, the City of Alexandria has a notable tree list. If you think you have a notable tree and you want to receive credit for this then you should reach out to someone in the urban forestry department so that your tree can be added.

Another way to help is to plant trees in the area. If you are planning on planting a tree, you need to make sure that you do it right. It’s best to buy your tree from a local nursery. A local nursery will sell trees native to the area that will grow much better. Also, a good place to get an excellent free native tree will be at the EcoCity Festival on Saturday at NOVA Community College, where Alexandria’s Beautification Commission will be celebrating the City’s 275 birthday by giving 275 trees. If you don’t know how to conserve or plant trees the Arbor Day Foundation can give you expert information.

Volunteering can go a long way to help our trees. Becoming a tree stewardor or working with the Friends of Mount Vernon Trail are great examples. These are both groups that work hard to protect our trees and parks. Lastly, please become aware of City Council’s role and encourage them to support the tree canopy. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and thank you Phil Jubert, our city’s urban forestry manager, and the many volunteers who are helping our city’s trees.

-William McCusker,

Boy Scout in Troop 129, eighth grade student at SSSAS