Canopies for Campuses
Trees Knoxville’s Canopies for Campuses program was initiated in 2017 after seeing the demand for more trees at our neighborhood schools. Our program provides Knox County schools with free trees, which—as several recent studies have shown—have numerous benefits. Urban trees reduce energy consumption and decrease energy bills; reduce maintenance costs for streets and storm water infrastructure; improve air quality; lower summer temperatures; combat the urban heat island effect; and increase property values by making neighborhoods more beautiful, walkable, and desirable places to live. This schools program is closely aligned with Trees Knoxville’s overall mission to preserve and increase the urban canopy on private and public land of Knoxville and Knox County, and we are very pleased to help bring the benefits of trees right to our community’s children.
In 2016, 13 schools requested a total of 99 trees with a range from 3 to 12 trees to be planted at each school. This was a very limited sample since the request was made during a tree giveaway sponsored by Trees Knoxville; the notice was not distributed throughout the school system to gather and determine the interest at all schools. As a follow up to this request, Trees Knoxville contacted the Knox County School system administration to determine their interest. We received an enthusiastic response and initiated the Canopies for Campuses program. Christenberry Elementary was selected for our first planting project which was accomplished on May 11, 2017, with eager support of over 100 of their students and faculty from the school. The funding for this planting was from Pattison Sign Group of Knoxville and with their generous support, Trees Knoxville installed 14 trees at the school. Tree plantings at Beaumont Magnet Academy and Mooreland Heights Elementary followed in November of 2017. In 2018, Trees Knoxville completed tree plantings at the following schools: Westmoreland Middle School, New Hopewell Elementary, Fulton High School, Sequoyah Elementary, Mount Olive Elementary, Whittle Springs Middle School, and Bluegrass Elementary.
Trees Knoxville has seen strong support in the community for this program benefiting children and schools, and we have been approached by teachers, businesses, and neighborhoods to support trees for schools. Our board of directors has also indicated strong support for this effort and we are actively looking for opportunities to partner and work with city and county governments and local businesses to expand this campaign to plant trees at schools that have expressed an interest and need for trees.
Trees Knoxville works with the Knox County School System to plan tree planting events from November to March. Trees Knoxville provides the trees and the volunteers to plant the trees, as well as helps manage them during the first years as they get established.
Schools and Neighborhoods wanting to partner with Trees Knoxville in Canopies for Campuses are asked to complete the application and submit it to Trees Knoxville by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Trees Knoxville will set up a time to meet with the interested schools, and together develop a tree planting plan for their neighborhood school.