City of Trees Challenge Encourages Planting, Addresses Equity and Climate Issues in Year Two

November 1, 2021

The City of Boise and Treasure Valley Canopy Network are taking additional steps this fall to increase Boise’s tree canopy and encourage residents to take action to improve our environment and build climate resilience. Residents can get involved in the City of Trees Challenge by planting a tree at their home or business and adding it to our online tree count. Fall is the ideal time to plant a tree in your yard because cooler temperatures allow the tree to establish roots before spring rain and summer heat stimulates new growth.


In the Challenge’s most recent tree giveaway, residents in the South Cole Neighborhood Association received trees to plant at home that were then counted toward the City of Trees Challenge goal of planting a tree for every household in the city by 2030. The neighborhood was selected in an effort to plant trees where they’re needed most in the city – to reduce urban heat, increase tree canopy and improve quality of life for all Boiseans. The City of Trees Challenge team is excited to partner with the Boise Farmers Market again to distribute the trees to community members, while providing information to make sure they thrive in their new homes.

In all, 200 trees spanning 9 different species were given to Boise residents this fall. In addition to a tree, each resident was provided with a recycled malt bag from Lost Grove Brewing filled with mulch from Boise Community Forestry. Since the Challenge kicked off on Earth Day in 2020, more than 3,000 trees have been planted in Boise and entered into our Challenge website so their benefits can be tracked over time.


The City of Trees Challenge aims to plant trees where they are needed most to help distribute our healthy tree canopy equitably across the city. Previous tree giveaway events have been held in a variety of neighborhoods chosen for their low urban tree cover, high summer temperatures, and their health index rankings in the recent Community Development Analysis.  The City of Trees Challenge is dedicated to increasing tree cover across our city to ensure every Boisean receives the benefits of a healthy and thriving tree canopy.

We will continue working with Boise Neighborhood Associations in 2022 to target other neighborhoods where trees are needed and residents are interested in planting and caring for their trees.

“By encouraging tree planting in neighborhoods with low canopy cover we can increase the health and wellbeing of the community as a whole,” said Boise City Council President Elaine Clegg. “Our challenge as a community is to plant trees where they are needed the most to ensure that everyone can enjoy their benefits.”


In the first two years of the Challenge, we’ve successfully planted over 3,000 trees throughout the city and planted 37,000 forest seedlings in Boise National Forest with Arbor Day Foundation and The Nature Conservancy in Idaho. In looking ahead to 2022 we will need the help of all Boiseans to meet our goals! We will expand our efforts to plant more trees in Boise neighborhoods of greatest need and expand our partnerships with local nurseries. We will double our forest seedling plantings in Boise National Forest and offer cities across the US an opportunity to join in the Challenge.

Visit the City of Trees Challenge website to learn more about the challenge, sign-up to join the project email list and view the city’s new interactive web-portal to track planting efforts and the environmental benefits of this city initiative.

“For every tree planted in Boise, we see clean air and water benefits in addition to reductions in urban heat,” said President and Director of the Treasure Valley Canopy Network Lance Davisson. “Community support is key in reaching our goal of planting one tree for every household in Boise. Every homeowner who plants a tree will directly improve quality of life, not only for their family, but for our environment and our community as a whole.”

Project partners continue to encourage Boise residents to engage in the City of Trees Challenge by following Treasure Valley Canopy Network and City of Boise Parks and Recreation on our various social media channels. In addition, Boise residents can contact the city’s Community Forestry division Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with questions or to schedule an at-home tree consultation by calling (208) 608-7700.

Contact: Parks and Recreation Media Relations

(208) 608-7600 |

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