Phyllis Castillo learned about Arlington’s Tree Canopy program through her neighborhood association’s website. She thought it was an interesting concept, but she wasn’t ready to apply. After relocating about five years earlier from Delta, Colorado to Arlington, Phyllis took time to settle in before making changes in and around her new home.
Two years later, Phyllis was ready to apply for a tree. She knew more about Arlington, her neighborhood, and most of all she was more familiar with what each tree, flower, and bush in her yard would bring with each changing season. What was missing was a shade tree for her backyard, and she knew exactly where the tree should be planted and how it would enhance her home and her well-being.
Phyllis submitted her application in the Fall of 2015, received approval weeks later, and her tree was planted in Spring of 2016. “Everything about the planting process was good, and it didn’t cost me a thing. They came out and dug a hole for the tree, mulched around it, and gave me a water bag, which was really wonderful. And, they gave me instructions on how to take care of it, especially in the first year.” Phyllis was pleasantly surprised with the size of the tree she received. “I thought I’d get this little sapling and it was a tree. It was not a sapling. So, you know what you have to pay for those if you go to the nursery is a lot.”
Phyllis is looking forward to enjoying the beauty of her new tree for many years to come. As it grows larger, her tree will deliver many benefits beyond aesthetics. The shade it delivers will help lower her home’s temperature during warmer months, the leaves will remove excess carbon dioxide and add more oxygen to the atmosphere, and it will slow the evaporation of water from the lawn, diminishing the stormwater that flows into the ocean, and they even make us happier—something Phyllis experienced as a young child playing with the make-believe playmates that she imagined were living in an old tree in her grandparent’s yard. Phyllis’ tree and Arlington’s tree canopy program is vital to protecting our air, water, and open spaces.
The Tree Canopy program is one of the many ways EcoAction Arlington is showing Arlington residents how to improve our air, water, and outdoor spaces with simple everyday choices. Find out how you can apply for a free tree through the Tree Canopy Fund.