Burke: Eco-friendly FoCo welcomes 1,000 baby trees to town

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Collegian | Trin Bonner

Callum Burke , Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Take a quick second out of your day and look outside to observe the vivacious greenery offered by our beautiful state of Colorado. No matter where you decide to look, a tree species of some sort is bound to be within sight, and that is no coincidence. Trees are vitally important to our ecosystem, and it doesn’t hurt that they look so majestic swaying left to right in a calm breeze.

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Unfortunately, the general cost of a baby tree under 10 feet tall can reach up to $100 — not to mention trees above that height can be sold for several hundreds of dollars. A hefty price for wood and leaves, if you ask me.

Thankfully, affordable trees have made their way to Fort Collins, and the Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Canopy program is to thank for that, making our city more eco-friendly and colorful.

In collaboration with the Community Canopy program, Fort Collins will purchase 1,000 locally grown trees to be sold to residents for just $25 each.

Although cheap tree prices alone are cause for celebration, it is the long-term positive impacts of these trees being planted that make this program so worthwhile, especially for Fort Collins.

“Planting new trees has proven to be ‘one of the most effective ways to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and limit global warming,’ according to Discovery.”

Trees assist the environment in a variety of different ways. For starters, trees lower home energy costs year-round by serving as natural windbreaks in the winter months and offering shade in the summer months. The natural heating and cooling offered by trees can keep electricity costs down consistently throughout the year.

Additionally, the surge of new trees being planted will contribute to increasing our air and water filtration, reducing stray stormwater runoff by absorbing groundwater and, most importantly, slowing down climate change and sprucing up our neighborhood with more greenery.

Planting new trees has proven to be “one of the most effective ways to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and limit global warming,” according to Discovery.

Canopy cover provided from these locally grown, soon-to-be-planted trees will combat climate change by preparing for future tree loss from the invasive insects already causing damage to our parks and disease withering away older trees in our community.

Beginning Aug. 1, 27 different species of trees were made available for purchase online with a limit of three trees maximum per household to ensure everyone wanting to get involved had an opportunity to get their hands on a baby tree.

Residents who purchase a tree will receive 5-gallon trees and are expected to plant them and provide ongoing care to upkeep health, which is the least that should be done for such a cheap tree premium.

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These baby trees will be available for pickup from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 10 for those who have reserved a tree, but it does not stop there.

In a wholesome attempt to make this program more appealing, any trees unclaimed or leftover by Sept. 16 will be donated, ensuring every tree of the 1,000 provided will be planted. However, it’s looking like Fort Collins residents pulled through and reserved all 1,000 trees, so we’ll have to wait and see these trees popping up at residences around the city.

Reach Callum Burke at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @burkec0621.