For Immediate Release
Trees-for-sidewalks Begins with Help from Elementary Students
As the weather warms up, Springfield residents start venturing out of their homes to enjoy the outdoors. Many opt to take a walk or a bike ride around their neighborhood. Children may choose to walk to school, rather than catch a ride from Mom or Dad.
Sidewalks decrease chances of in-road pedestrian-car collisions by 80 percent and are essential to a healthy community's lifestyle. Trees greatly enhance quality of life in many ways. That's why the City of Springfield's Public Works Traffic Operations division is now offering a tree-planting benefit (NeighborWoods) in combination with school sidewalk construction in neighborhoods across the city. Through this program, Springfield residents are offered a substantial tree (about 5 feet tall) to be planted on their property, once a school sidewalk has been constructed on their street.
At 10 a.m., May 9 at the 2000 block of East Claiborne, Field Elementary students will help the City kick off the 2013 program. Students and City staff will show off the new sidewalk, plant the first tree and present a recognition plaque to the residents of the Claiborne Street/Stewart Avenue neighborhood.
The NeighborWoods School Sidewalk Program is one of several efforts by Traffic Operations to make Springfield a safe place to walk and bike. Using funds generated by the quarter-cent capital improvement sales tax, the City has constructed more than 50 miles of school sidewalks over the last 20 years. The goal is to provide sidewalks in a half-mile radius around all schools in the district.
The Public Grounds forestry staff has been serving Springfield residents with the NeighborWoods program for 10 years. Applicants receive a tree, planted by City staff, just by committing to watering the tree as needed.
Neighborhood residents, the community and the media are invited to attend the event.
For more information, contact: Mandy Büttgen in Public Works Traffic Operations at 864-1801.