Together, we will prioritize our most valuable climate solution – TREES! This partnership focuses planting efforts at all of our affordable housing sites, starting with North Nashville and expanding into other neighborhoods, in order to improve the health of our communities and provide a natural climate solution.
Tree planting will kick off in North Nashville on Saturday, February 15. This first planting of the initiative is just the beginning of the partnership between Be a Helping Hand and Root Nashville. Tree planting will continue throughout upcoming planting seasons. Be a Helping Hand and Root Nashville are also exploring other methods of greening for public health and the health of our planet.
Studies have shown that green space and access to nature are vital to health and well-being. Our partnership developed in response to the increasing disparities in housing along economic lines, which have resulted in documented “hot spots” of temperatures up to 5-17 degrees higher than surrounding rural, wooded areas, due to lack of green space. This heat disparity has a dramatic effect on health and quality of life. In addition, neighborhoods with a lack of trees and tree shade are typically populated by African American and immigrant communities (Racist Housing Practices From The 1930s Linked To Hotter Neighborhoods Today, NPR).
The health of our environment and our quality of life are intertwined. Trees provide so many essential benefits to our livelihood and are a natural climate solution.
Environmental benefits: Trees remove carbon dioxide out of the air, produce oxygen, reduce air pollution, cool the climate, and reduce erosion and flooding. Trees also help to improve water quality and provide food and habitat for numerous species of wildlife.
Economic benefits: Trees reduce energy bills due to their cooling and wind protection effects, create a more attractive environment that improves property values. With a more inviting atmosphere, trees also increase community pride and customer base.
Social benefits: Trees reduce crime and violence, provide a sense of security, ease mental fatigue, and create feelings of relaxation and well-being. They also provide noise reduction, help alleviate ADD and asthma, and encourage physical activity. Trees increase our overall quality of life by encouraging people out of their homes and into natural open space, where they are more likely to interact with others and build stronger social relationships.
Be a Helping Hand is a nonprofit affordable housing organization focused on underserved communities in North Nashville and the surrounding metropolitan areas. Your support of Be a Helping Hand will help us continue to provide affordable housing to our Nashville neighbors in need and ensures that greening efforts like this tree planting initiative can continue and expand. Please consider donating to our organization to support our mission and our continued efforts to improve community livability.
This initiative works in accord with the Livable Nashville Committee and the Root Nashville goal to plant 500,000 trees in Davidson County by 2050. The Root Nashville campaign is a public-private partnership led by the Cumberland River Compact and Metro Nashville. Their goal is to restore and grow our city’s precious tree canopy, which is in decline due to Nashville’s unprecedented growth. We urge other affordable housing nonprofits and developers to take action and to join us in being part of the climate solution by committing to planting trees on all new and existing properties. Visit rootnashville.org to learn more.
Thank you Root Nashville and the Public Health Department for making our idea of this program come to fruition! We look forward to continuing this partnership and growing our city in a green way.