In an effort to promote urban naturalization, Portland, Oregon has implemented a program that rewards residents for planting trees-- specifically those species that contribute to clean water sources and waterways-- on their property. Each year, between September 1st and April 30th, residents can plant approved trees on their properties and apply for a Treebate of up to $50. Although not all of these approved tree species are native to the area, they all have been approved by the City of Portland as positively impactful in the efforts to strengthen and restore the community and its environment.
For residents who are interested in the Treebate program, there are specific guidelines and procedures.
-The tree must be planted in a residential yard
-The residential yard must be in the city of Portland
-The tree must be on the approved species list, revised and approved by the city each year
-The tree must be planted between September 1st and April 30th in a given year
-The tree must be plated properly, in accordance with city guidelines
-The resident contractually agrees to care for and water the tree for at least two years
-Plant the tree is your residential yard
-Fill out and sign the Treebate form by April 30th
-Get up to a $50 Treebate credit on your water/sewer bill
So, the big question is…
How does planting trees contribute to clean water sources and waterways?
As American Forests explains: "Forests, it turns out, act as natural reservoirs, treatment plants, and stormwater management systems. Forests provide natural filtration and storage systems that process nearly two-thirds of the water supply in the United States. In their natural and healthy state, riparian forests help to keep the water in streams clear. "
Trees naturally filter stormwater, which the Pacific Northwest has in abundance. More trees in urban areas do wonders for our air quality, quality of life, and landscape, and they do amazing things for our water systems…
1. Completely natural filtration processes repair and improve water quality as it enters waterways, reducing pollutants
2. City filtration of drinking water becomes adjunct, reducing economic burden
3. Absorption and filtration systems increase groundwater volume and quality
4. Stormwater runoff is naturally moderated, helping to prevent natural disasters
For more information about international communities taking on tree-plaing projects, click here.
To get started improving our waterways in Portland, click here.