A group of 10 parishioners from All Saints Church in Syracuse, NY recently joined their pastor, Fr. Fred Daley, to both celebrate and bless two hedge maple trees on Lancaster and Euclid Avenues in Syracuse. The Caring for Our Common Home Team earned a grant from the Catholic Climate Covenant to purchase the trees from Rare Earth Nursery and they had members of the Onondaga Earth Corps plant the trees.
This is part of an ongoing effort to support the city’s urban forest master plan goal to equitably plant 70,000 trees over 20 years and increase the tree canopy from 27% to 34%. The urban forest master plan, launched in February 2020, outlines steps to grow and sustain the city’s urban forest to improve the quality of life throughout the city, particularly in the poorest neighborhoods. Urban trees and forests not only mitigate the effects of climate change but also provide cooler air temperatures, human health benefits, air and water quality improvement, noise reduction, UV radiation protection, socio-economic benefits, and wildlife habitat.
In response to Pope Francis’ new Laudato Si action plan, the Caring for Our Common Home team would like to help to lessen the impact of climate change for those living in marginalized neighborhoods in Syracuse. This is a very small beginning, but the team would like to continue to help Syracuse plant trees to make the city’s plan for a healthy urban forest a reality. Two planted and 69,998 to go!