WILKINSBURG (KDKA) – In the shadow of the Wilkinsburg Municipal Building, a milestone takes root. Volunteers are planting their 500th tree in the past two years.

Jeff Bergman of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy directed the “Treevitalize” program, which aims to plant 20,000 new trees in Allegheny County.

Conservancy volunteers teamed up with the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, in an effort that goes beyond simply providing more shade.

“One healthy tree can absorb 1,400 gallons of storm water every year,” Bergman said. “So, when you start adding that up, it really can make a significant contribution toward helping to improve our water quality.”

Watershed Association Director Brenda Smith said the new trees will get a lot of TLC.

“We’ll be re-mulching all of the trees that we’ve planted in the last two years,” she said. “Weeding around them, to make sure that there’s nothing competing for that water that we’re putting on them. And that’s also a way of getting the community involved,” Smith said.


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