From the City of Pittsburgh:

1339360_green_forestMayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced that the City will hold its fourth-annual Free Tree Giveaway on Earth Day, this Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the City-County Building Portico located at 414 Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh.

“We were so excited by the overwhelming response to all of our Free Tree Giveaways, that we’ve decided to make this an annual Earth Day event,” Ravenstahl said.

The Mayor’s Office, in sponsorship with the City’s Shade Tree Commission, will be giving away 1,000 free dogwood saplings on a first-come, first-serve basis. The event was created by the Mayor in 2007 in response to the region’s TreeVitalize partnership, an initiative to help restore tree cover in the Pittsburgh region by planting 20,000 trees by 2012.

“Through aggressive tree planting efforts in all of our City neighborhoods, we’re well on our way to meeting the goal outlined by the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh partnership,” Ravenstahl said. “In addition, through programs like the Free Tree Giveaway, we’re educating our citizens on the importance of planting the right species of trees that will not only improve our City’s environment, but improve residents’ property values.”

At the giveaway, citizens will learn about proper planting and care for the saplings and are encouraged to support TreeVitalize’s goal by registering their tree at www.treevitalizepgh.org and by serving as a volunteer Tree Tender.

TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is a joint project of Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.