Mayor Fischer at the announcement | Still from Periscope

Mayor Fischer at the announcement | Still from Periscope

At a press conference at Gilmore Lane Elementary Monday morning, Mayor Greg Fischer, the Community Foundation of Louisville and TreesLouisville announced an anonymous $1 million donation for planting trees around Louisville to enhance the tree canopy.

The CFL’s CEO Susan Barry announced that the TreesLouisville Fund will be trying to raise an additional $1 million in matching funds.¬†TreesLouisville will manage the outreach and focus of the initiative and local advertising agency, Red7e, will provide creative services for the initiative.

At the press conference, Fischer thanked a number of community partners, including JCPS and the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil. He also expressed gratitude to the people 100 years ago who had the foresight to plant the trees that make up the tree canopy today.

According to research, the city has an 8 percent tree canopy deficit: the canopy is 37 percent; the goal is to raise that to 45 percent.

Trees help reduce energy costs and improve the air quality. They also help to reduce the city’s heat island effect.

While trees that result from these donations will be planted on public land throughout the city, the mayor also stressed the need for citizens to plant trees on private land as well.

The neighborhoods with the least tree coverage are both University and Phoenix Hill at 11 percent, according to the TreesLouisville website. All of the neighborhoods with the most tree coverage are in parks or are park adjacent like Iroquois Park (68 percent) and Cherokee Park (55 percent).