Lehigh County Conservation District Awards Grant for Urban Heat Island Tree Planting

Photo provided by Lehigh County Conservation District.

Reprinted with permission from Lehigh County Conservation District’s Winter 2019 newsletter

According to a New York Times article written on August 9, 2019, temperatures in a city can span a range of as much as 20 degrees depending upon one’s location. Students from Building 21 Public High School in Allentown have been working on finding solutions to this “hot topic” known as urban heat islands, for the last two years!

Student Maribel Rabio proposed planting three large groups of flowering trees to add shade and natural beauty to her school’s parking areas. After volunteering to help students with the first phase of Maribel’s tree plantings, several Lehigh County Conservation District (LCCD) staff members encouraged the school to apply to the district’s grant program for funding of phase two.

Upon LCCD board approval for a $2,000 grant, Building 21’s Urban Agriculture Class, Allentown Department of Public Works, and City Arborist Rick Howell worked together in October to carry out stage two of the project. On this day, six native redbuds and five native dogwoods joined Building 21’s ever-growing and greening landscape and brought Maribel’s great idea one step closer to completion.

Click here to read the entire article and here to watch a local news clip about the project. 

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