SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and TreeUtah announced a new initiative Thursday afternoon to help replace the thousands of trees that were lost during the windstorms on Sept. 7 and 8. ReTree SLC’s donation portal launched Thursday and funds raised will go toward the replanting of the more than 1,500 public trees that were lost within the city boundaries.
“As a certified tree-lover, this has been difficult, especially since we know the benefits that trees and tree canopies provide residents, including reducing air pollution, conserving water and increasing walkability,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “Trees are indispensable. But luckily, they aren’t completely irreplaceable; we’re going to do our best to regrow what was lost and more.”
Parks in Salt Lake City were especially hit hard. Liberty Park lost 69 trees and the Salt Lake Cemetery lost 255 trees.
“All of us at TreeUtah are saddened by the devastating loss of trees during the storm, but it just heightens our dedication to plant as many trees as possible toward a healthy urban forest. The trees we plant now will provide a better quality of life in Salt Lake City for generations,” TreeUtah’s Executive Director Amy May said.
Donors to ReTree SLC, can make a single donation or can choose to make ongoing monthly donations. Donors can specify if they want their contribution to go towards replanting in Liberty Park, the Salt Lake City Cemetery, the Jordan River Park/International Peace Gardens, Rosewood Park, or wherever a tree is needed most.
Rocky Mountain Power will be matching the first $10,000 raised to kick off the ReTree SLC initiative. Ivory Homes has also committed to supporting ReTree SLC.
“As our crews worked day and night to restore power following the historic windstorm earlier this month, they witnessed the devastation to the urban forest firsthand. Rocky Mountain Power immediately recognized the value of forming partnerships and providing resources to jumpstart a replanting effort to begin healing Salt Lake City’s most prized natural spaces,” said Jeff Barrett, Rocky Mountain Power regional business manager for Salt Lake City.
ReTree SLC will also include a volunteer effort through TreeUtah for the public to assist in planting trees. TreeUtah events are available at treeutah.org/events.