PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the RI Tree Council, RI Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Arbor Day Foundation, is providing 1,000 free trees to Rhode Island residents this autumn. Now in its 13th season, the program helps Rhode Islanders beautify their yards, save energy, and lower their utility bills by strategically planting trees on their property.
"Planting a tree in the right place can improve air quality, sequester carbon, and help manage stormwater runoff," said DEM Agriculture and Forestry Chief Ken Ayars. "It's a terrific way for Rhode Islanders to reduce their energy costs today and in the years to come, and a tangible way to stand up to climate change. We're especially pleased to offer free trees now, when many of us are spending more time in our backyards because of the pandemic."
Planting the right tree in the right place is the key to maximizing the energy-saving benefits that trees provide. When planted properly, a single tree can save a homeowner money on energy costs by shading their home in the summer and blocking cold winds in the winter. Additional benefits include improved air quality, reducing storm-water runoff, increasing biodiversity, and beautifying one's surroundings.
Registration opens Thursday, Sept. 9. The process to reserve your free tree takes less than 10 minutes. In three easy steps, you can reserve your tree!
1. Sign up at www.arborday.org/RIDEM and map your house by using the interactive mapping tool.
2. Select the right tree by choosing from the list of available trees.
3. Reserve your tree and select your pick-up location from the list below.
The free trees will be approximately 4-6 feet tall and in 3-gallon containers. These trees will fit in most cars for transportation to your home. All program participants must be Rhode Island residents and pre-register online to reserve their free tree. The trees will be available for pick up starting in late September at the following locations, dates, and times:
Dexter Training Ground Park: 85 Parade Street, Providence, RI 02909 Saturday, Sept. 25, 9 AM-12 PM
Richmond Elementary School: 190 Kingstown Road, Richmond, RI 02898 Saturday, Oct. 2, 9 AM-12 PM
Colt State Park: Route 114, Bristol, RI 02809 Saturday, Oct. 16, 9 AM-12 PM
RI Tree Council: 2953 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, RI 02919 Saturday, Oct. 23, 9 AM-12 PM
Funding for the program is provided by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
For online registration assistance, please contact the Arbor Day Foundation at 1-855-234-3801.
For more information about the Rhode Island Energy-Saving Trees Program, please visit DEM's Division of Forest Environment Urban and Community Forestry website at www.dem.ri.gov/urbanforestry or follow the Division of Forest Environment on Facebook www.facebook.com/RIForest.
For more information on DEM's programs and divisions, visit www.dem.ri.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or via Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM).