SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall got her hands dirty Monday, planting the first of this year's trees as part of her 1,000 Trees Initiative.
At a ceremony at the International Peace Gardens, Mendenhall planted the first three of 1,000 trees in 2021. The mayor has committed to planting 1,000 trees in Salt Lake City's west side every year she's in office.
"Over the course of about the last 10 years, until I became the mayor, the city was just planting about as many trees as we lost each year," explained Mendenhall. "We lose a thousand trees to disease, storms, snow, but it’s important that we plant more than the amount of trees we lose, so we’re actually growing in our urban forest."
This year's efforts are even more important following September's devastating windstorm in which three thousand trees were estimated to have been lost.
Mendenhall says the tree initiative improves quality of life, health and business in Salt Lake City.
"Our hardest hit areas for air quality and air pollution are on our city’s west side, and we know that trees not only help to beautify an area and increase property values and walkability, but they also help to clean our air and produce more oxygen, so there’s a million reasons to plant trees, and the best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago, but the next best time is today."