Creating Canopy: Penn, Philadelphia Partner to Distribute Free Trees to University Homeowners

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Media Contact:Julie McWilliams | | 215-898-1422
Media Contact:Patrick Morgan | | 267-438-7154 March 29, 2011

PHILADELPHIA – As the first institution to take part in Philadelphia’s Creating Canopy program, the University of Pennsylvania is partnering with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to distribute to faculty and staff homeowners in the city 300 free trees to plant on their property.             

The “Creating Canopy with Penn” pilot program will offer the trees on a first-come, first-served basis.  It is part of Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s Greenworks campaign, which calls for planting 300,000 new trees in the city by 2015.

“We’re honored to help Philadelphia become America’s greenest city through Mayor Nutter’s Greenworks campaign,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said.  “Our sponsorship of this program further engages our campus community in making the greatest possible impact on our city, expansion of our environmental outreach and progress toward our ambitious sustainability goals.”

To achieve the mayor’s Greenworks target, the city plans to increase its own tree-planting activities as well as work with numerous partners under this new tree-planting model in which everyone can play a role, including residents, neighborhoods, institutions and corporations.

“Thank you to Penn for their continued commitment toward sustainability and for signing on as an early partner for this innovative program,” Nutter said.  “Partnerships like this will help to plant more trees, in more neighborhoods, all across Philadelphia because every neighborhood deserves a healthy and robust tree canopy.”    

Those interested in obtaining a tree should register at, where information on tree planting and caring is also available.  

Participants are invited to join Gutmann, Nutter and members of the campus community at the Creating Canopy with Penn Free Tree Event, set for 1 p.m., Thursday, March 31, on College Green to pick up their trees.

Homeowners unable to collect their trees at that time can do so between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, at High Line Field, east of the Left Bank building, on the lower level of 31st and Walnut streets.

Participation in the Creating Canopy program is part of Penn’s Climate Action Plan goals.  Penn plans to plant more than 1,700 trees on campus by 2015.

Additional information on the University’s sustainability efforts is available at