• Business Business

New tree-planting program aims to cool down neighborhoods with an unexpected asset: 'A vital part of our clean energy future'

"Being able to volunteer and make a difference is really important."

"Being able to volunteer and make a difference is really important."

Photo Credit: Detroit Tree Equity Partnership

More than 200 aspiring professional football players were drafted in the recent NFL draft, and for every 10 or so of those athletes, a tree was planted in Detroit. The NFL teamed up with Verizon and the Detroit Tree Equity Partnership on a tree-planting initiative at Patton Park that saw 20 new trees planted, as reported by the Michigan Chronicle.

The Detroit Tree Equity Partnership, founded partly by local electric services company DTE Energy, has a goal of planting 75,000 trees in parts of the city that need them the most. More than 12,000 have already been planted, including the 20 contributed by the NFL.

"Energy and trees may not seem like they go hand in hand; however, natural solutions like trees are a vital part of our clean energy future," DTE Energy chairman and CEO Jerry Norcia said during the event. "Corporate partners like DTE, the NFL, and Verizon are vital when it comes to meeting tree-planting goals in Detroit and beyond; we play a key role in the path forward. Projects like this make lasting improvements where they are most needed and show just what can happen when we all work together."

Planting more trees in urban areas can have an enormous positive impact on the health of the local residents.

Trees purify and cool the air, reducing the effects of urban heat islands — and heat-related illnesses kill more people per year than hurricanes and floods combined. Trees also provide shade and mute traffic noise.

One study even concluded that living near trees "caused some biological or molecular changes that can be detected in our blood," according to its authors, which could add 2.5 years to peoples' lives.

"Planting all these trees makes a difference in our communities," Kailyn Johnson, a DTE Energy volunteer, told the Michigan Chronicle. "Being able to volunteer and make a difference is really important."

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider