NeighbourWoods program asks Calgarians to plant $30 trees in their yards for the city

The September snowstorm has the city looking for "residential tree stewards" to plant and take care of trees in their yards.

Volunteers called on to reforest after September snowstorm

For $30, the city will give you a tree to plant on your boulevard or back-of-walk area. (Danielle Nerman/CBC)

Volunteers are needed to help reforest Calgary after a freak snowstorm last September damaged thousands of public trees, the city says. 

"We don't have an exact count yet but we estimate around 50 per cent of the trees were damaged," said city parks manager Nico Bernard.

26 million kilograms of tree debris went to landfill after the September 2014 snowstorm. (Danielle Nerman/CBC)

That adds up to about 250,000 public trees, with non-native deciduous elm and ash bearing the brunt of "snowtember."

For a $30 fee, homeowners in 25 Calgary communities can receive a tree to plant on the city-owned portion of their property: either the boulevard — the space between the sidewalk and road, or the back-of-walk area — the space between the sidewalk and the property line.

"If people put something into it, they feel more attached to the tree and will make sure it survives," said Bernard.

Homeowners are expected to water the trees, but the city will prune and maintain them.

Calgarians who don't live in a designated NeighbourWoods community can still participate in the Planting Incentive Program, where the city will match 50 per cent of the cost of a new tree. 

As many as 9,000 new public trees could be planted this year, 46 per cent more than 2014.

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