Kent, Ohio — The urban tree canopy in northeast Ohio grew by 422 trees and shrubs this fall thanks to a collaborative relationship between The Davey Tree Expert Company, the Cleveland Cavaliers and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Davey, the Cavs and PwC planted one tree for every three-point shot made by the Cavs at home during the 2014-2015 regular season as part of the Trees for Threes program. The program encourages numerous teams throughout the NBA to plant trees in their communities.
Davey donated all 422 trees, which will provide a total $809,075 worth of benefits over the next 40 years to northeast Ohio.
“There are many reasons why trees benefit communities,” said Sandra Reid, vice president, corporate communications and strategic planning for Davey Tree. “Trees provide stress reduction and other health benefits. Neighborhoods with trees see improved property values and environmental benefits such as improved storm water retention. Davey does a lot of community tree plantings across the U.S., and we were happy to be approached by the Cavs and PwC to enrich northeast Ohio by adding to its tree canopy.”
In October, volunteers joined students from Cleveland’s Anton Grdina Elementary School to plant 322 trees around the grounds. In November, volunteers helped students at Betty Jane and Windemere Community Learning Centers in Akron plant 100 more trees on school property, at a park and along surrounding city streets.
Before each planting, students attended a rally to hear Cavs, Davey and PwC representatives talk about the importance of trees to the environment and their neighborhoods. Afterward, students took part in planting a larger, inaugural red maple tree before planting the trees en masse.
Davey employees tied a tag to each tree explaining the benefits it provides each year. Davey experts from area offices led teams of students and volunteers to make sure the trees were planted properly, watered, mulched and staked to ensure their longevity. Employees from Davey’s corporate communications department also live-tweeted each planting, using the hashtag #Trees4Threes, to promote the community effort nationally on Twitter.
Other partners in the program included the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Municipal Schools, Akron City Schools, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, the city of Akron and the Canton Charge basketball team.