Earth Day celebration to review area's tree coverage
Cuyahoga County’s tree canopy will be discussed by the Westlake/North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters at its Earth Day 2021 celebration, Thursday, April 22, at 7:30 pm. Guest speaker Alison Ball, a planner with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, will speak at the Zoom meeting. Ms. Ball was involved with the 2019 county-wide Urban Tree Canopy Assessment and manages the ongoing grant program.
The 2019 Assessment showed that the Cuyahoga County tree canopy had a net loss of about 6,600 acres of canopy, a 6.1% decline from 2011. The loss comes despite concerted efforts in many local communities to increase tree canopy. Losses are primarily due to development, natural loss from invasive pests, wind damage and neglect. In 2020, the County funded 26 community tree projects. This funding spurred the creation of 18 tree plans, nine tree maintenance plans and 14 tree inventories for area municipalities, neighborhoods and nonprofits.
The Zoom meeting link will be e-mailed to chapter members. Members of the public who would like to participate may do so by calling the chapter voice mail (216-264-6496) to leave an e-mail address for receiving the Zoom link.
The April meeting coincides with Earth Day 2021, an international observance of environmental initiatives, and precedes Arbor Day (April 29). The national Arbor Day Foundation sponsors Tree City USA awards, a rigorous program that recognizes the ongoing work of cities and towns in preserving and enhancing tree populations. Bay Village and Westlake have held Tree City USA designations for 22 years and 29 years respectively.
Westlake Porter Public Library has mounted a book display that provides readers with resources for learning more about trees and about the Earth Day 2021 theme, "Restore Our Earth."
The League of Women Voters has been active in environmental issues since the 1960s. Locally the major focus is on the protection of Lake Erie as a vital resource, but extends to other air, water and land use issues as well.
Chair, Westlake/North Olmsted Chapter, League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland