Trees = Shade, beauty, clean air ... & honors

Volunteers helped the City of Covington plant over 80 trees of carefully selected species along Latonia’s streets last October.

Covington’s commitment to green infrastructure saluted 

COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington planted hundreds of streetscape trees last year, paid for by a federal grant and put in the ground with the help of dozens of volunteers who donated energy, sweat and muscle.
Trees were also incorporated into the Downtown Streetscape and Public Realm Design Standards being developed to guide the look of public areas in the City’s urban core.
That evidence of the value Covington places on its urban canopy has earned it not only a Tree City USA designation for the 15th year in a row but also a “Growth City” award from the Arbor Day Foundation.
“Lots of cities value trees, but the Growth award sets us apart,” said Jason Roberts, Urban Forestry supervisor for Covington’s Public Works Department.
The award acknowledges “environmental improvement and higher level of tree care,” on top of policies and investments that treat trees as an integral part of public infrastructure.
Covington estimates that it has 4,000 trees planted along sidewalks and in public areas (outside of big parks). Trees provide shade and beauty, increase property values, clean the air of pollution and lessen the storm water that flows into sewer systems.
Advocates from Covington’s Urban Forestry Board also point to national studies that conclude a variety of lesser-known spin-off benefits as well: In “greener” neighborhoods, asthma rates for children are lower, obesity rates are lower, people are less likely to call in sick to work, noise levels are lower, fewer traffic accidents occur, shaded pavement lasts longer, “aggressive” crime rates are lower, residents like where they’re living more, and temperatures are lower.
The Arbor Day Foundation, a non-profit conservation and education organization that claims over a million members, recently notified the City of its award.