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City Tree Planting Alliance to Boost Albuquerque Urban Forest

‘Let’s Plant ABQ’ is a broad community coalition around 100,000 new tree goal

New Mexico celebrates Arbor Day annually on the second Friday of March, and this year the City of Albuquerque is marking the occasion by announcing a new alliance of organizations that have banded together in a common goal to grow Albuquerque’s urban forest.  The alliance unveiled the name and logo for the campaign: “Let’s Plant Albuquerque.”

“Let’s Plant ABQ is the One Albuquerque spirit in action--a coordinated effort to take care of our existing urban forest and plant 100,000 new trees,” stated Mayor Keller. “Now folks can get involved creating a lush urban forest in every neighborhood across Albuquerque—making our city more sustainable and carbon-neutral in the process.”

“Let’s Plant ABQ” brings together Tree New Mexico, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA), Bernalillo County, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service, The Nature Conservancy, the Dakota Tree Project, New Mexico State Forestry Division, and the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department. Each organization works on tree planting and outreach projects, but are joining forces to make their collaborative efforts more effective.

Let’s Plant ABQ is a unified campaign to broadly support Mayor Tim Keller’s initiative to plant 100,000 trees, announced last year. The campaign will promote community tree plantings by individuals and organizations, share resources about tree planting and tree care, and educate the public about the importance of Albuquerque’s urban tree canopy. Trees improve the quality of neighborhoods and business districts, increase property values, save energy, improve air quality, and strengthen climate resilience.

One of the first outreach projects by Let’s Plant ABQ will be to provide local nurseries with eye-catching posters that list climate-ready trees best suited for Albuquerque’s high desert environment. The list includes Atlas and Deodar Cedar, Netleaf Hackberry, Oklahoma Redbud, and Desert Willow, among many others. The full list of climate-ready trees can be viewed at www.nature.org/newmexicotrees.

“Climate change is here, and we are seeing the impacts all around us. The climate-ready tree lists help homeowners, businesses, and developers select trees that can thrive in our future climate condition,” says Sarah Hurteau, Climate Program Director for The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico. “This is just another factor to consider when selecting the right tree, for the right place, at the right time.”  

The climate-ready tree poster can be viewed here.

Other ways the community can get involved in Let’s Plant ABQ’s mission: