Baseball fans in Philadelphia have even more to cheer about when their favorite players hit home runs this season. For the second year, for each home run hit by the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, a tree will be planted this fall in the region. The Home Runs For Trees program is a partnership between the Phillies and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), in its effort to Plant One Million trees.
At press time, the home run count for the season was 87. Last year, 158 trees were planted. The team is also giving away trees to lucky fans.
Plant One Million is an ambitious, multi-state tree-planting campaign, encompassing 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The goal is to increase the tree canopy cover, the area of land shaded by trees, in the tri-state area to 20 percent, by planting one million trees by 2020. This would be the greatest tree coverage in the area in more than a century.
According to PHS, trees can increase property values and retail sales, reduce energy costs, flooding and crime rates, improve air and water quality, and enhance the overall health and quality of life for local residents.
PHS President Drew Becher says there are already 260,000 trees planted.
“We’re going to be working with neighborhoods and other communities to figure out where they’re going to plant the trees this fall,” Becher says. “If they can hit 300, we might have two or three communities that we can plant. So let’s hope.”