FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Trees, they’re all around us. Nature preserves, lining city streets, even in small patches throughout Indiana cornfields.
According to the U.S. Forest Service and Climate Central, every year the trees remove nearly a million tons of Carbon Dioxide from the air, absorb 14 million pounds of air pollution, and prevent 138 million gallons of potentially polluted storm waters from just flowing into to the rivers, and that’s just in the Fort Wayne area.
RELATED: Head over to Climate Central to learn about the impacts climate change is having in our communities
Derek Veit, Superintendent of Forestry Operations with the Fort Wayne Parks Department says protecting our rivers and soil is a power most people don’t know that trees have.
"They bring in polluted water, filter it and release it. It’ll clean our rivers," Veit explained. "...Every time we get a rain, what we don’t want is all that water coming down, washing pollutants into the rivers, but also soil. So, it intercepts a lot of that rainwater."
That’s why clearing the land of all trees just doesn’t make sense.
To help reverse the trend, the Fort Wayne Parks Department handed out Chinkapin Oak seedlings to the public throughout the third week of April.
They were meant to go to third graders throughout the city, but schools are closed.
It may not seem like it, but trees have more benefits than just environmental ones.
Veit said, "Not everybody knows the trees the impacts can have on public health in general. Emotional health, mental health, physical health. So, to me planting a tree in your yard is a gift to your neighbors, a gift to the city, and is definitely a gift to whoever buys your house next."
You’re not just helping the earth heal by planting a tree, you could be doing the same for yourself or someone you love.
There are two more chances to pick up Chinkapin Oak seedlings (which include planting instructions) during the week of April 19.
Thursday, April 23, 10 a.m. -12 p.m. – McMillen Park, 3901 Abbott St.
Friday, April 24, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. – Brewer Park, Pettit Ave. and Weisser Ave.
For more environmental resources, use the links below.
Ground Down - Fort Wayne Composting