The city of Las Vegas has a lofty goal when it comes to greenery: Plant 60,000 trees over the coming three decades.
The Las Vegas Tree Initiative is designed to combat the urban heat island effect by increasing tree canopy coverage and building more green space within neighborhoods hit hardest by a combination of extreme heat and lack of greenery. It’s part of the city’s 2050 master plan.
The latest leg of the program calls for residents in east Las Vegas, downtown Las Vegas and west Las Vegas neighborhoods to get trees and drip irrigation equipment installed for $20 per tree. Grant money will pay for the trees the city purchases from tree-planting nonprofits Nevada Plants, One Tree Planted and Impact NV.
Marco Velotta, a project planning manager for the city’s office of sustainability, said the program’s goal for this leg is to plant 250 trees on private property. The plan was approved last week by the City Council.
The trees are meant to help offset the “urban heat island effect,” which drives summer temperatures to greater extremes in heavily developed areas without greenery or shade compared with greener, shadier counterparts. Previous efforts in the tree initiative included planting trees at Freedom Park at Washington Avenue and Pecos Road.
“That’s one of the ways we think we can maybe get some buy-in from the community, especially in the locations where it’s needed the most,” Velotta said.
Brad Daseler, the city’s urban forester, supervises two nurseries that supply the city’s parks and public rights-of-way with a variety of trees that are all either native plants or suited to life in the desert. Daseler will prepare the trees, either desert willows or red push pistaches, for planting. Nevada Plants will handle the planting and drip-irrigation work, and the city will monitor the trees for the next three years.
We are on the ground planting trees to increase shade and help cool down neighborhoods. With your help, we can do even more. Click below to make a contribution.