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Planting for the Future

City celebrates Arbor Day with Downtown tree planting & giveaway; announces $5 million federal grant award
April 26, 2024

The Parks & Recreation Department (PRD) today celebrated National Arbor Day 2024 at Civic Plaza with a tree planting and giveaway as part of the “Let’s Plant Albuquerque” campaign. The City aims to plant at least 100,000 trees by 2030.

“The trees we plant today will flourish and be enjoyed by our community for generations,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “As we continue the revitalization of our Downtown, trees enhance our shared spaces, providing beauty, shade, and fresh air, creating a greener city for our families.”

PRD’s Forestry Division planted eight new trees at Civic Plaza. Fifty residents who participated in a tree-centric scavenger hunt took home a free tree to help build up the City’s urban canopy. This will help make Albuquerque a greener, cooler community. A strong urban canopy can improve air and water quality, increase property values, lower energy bills, improve quality of life, and increase economic development opportunities.

“Downtown beautification represents a tangible step forward in our downtown revitalization efforts,” said MRA Director Terry Bruner. “By enhancing the natural beauty of our urban environment, we are creating a more welcome and attractive downtown for residents, visitors, and businesses alike.”

“We want our new location to contribute to re-activating Civic Plaza in a meaningful way,” said Jacob Fox, the co-owner of Little Bear. “Investing in shade and greenery by planting more trees here will be a critical piece toward making this Plaza the central gathering place for our whole City – the way it should be.”

Planting downtown is especially important as it is one of the hottest areas in the City.

“Arbor Day is a day dedicated to the planting of trees, utilizing this time to focus on the planting of our most urban trees is a great way to celebrate our urban forest,” said City Forester Sean O’Neill.

The “Let’s Plant Albuquerque” campaign launched in 2019. So far, the City and its closest tree planting partners have planted about 26,000 trees. Parks & Recreation is busy counting and confirming trees that have been planted through a variety of other channels and is confident that the community is on track to meet and exceed our goal ahead of schedule.

“We need more trees, but need your help to make it happen,” said PRD Director Dave Simon. “It takes all of us working together to reach our goal of 100,000 trees by 2030!”

The City just earned a Tree City USA Growth Award for the second year in a row from the Arbor Day Foundation. This award is presented to participating Tree City USA communities that demonstrate higher levels of tree care and community engagement during the calendar year.

The USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Inflation and Reduction Act awarded the City $5 million. All of this funding will be used to increase the urban canopy and improve publicly accessible greenspaces in disadvantaged communities.

Incentives are available for tree planting. To take the pledge to plant, or learn about tree planting, tree care, and these incentives click here.