UB volunteers help to ‘retree’ University Heights

Published November 12, 2015

Hundreds of volunteers — among them UB students, faculty and staff — descended upon Buffalo’s University District on Nov. 7, saplings in hand, for the third round of ReTree the District.

Working together to plant 140 trees, the volunteers took another step toward restoring Buffalo’s reputation as “The City of Trees.” Buffalo has experienced significant tree loss since the 1970s due to Dutch Elm Disease, as well as such events as the 2006 “October Surprise” storm.

The areas targeted Saturday for tree-planting included streets to the west of Main Street, from Custer Street to Englewood Avenue.

ReTree the District is an initiative led by the University Heights Collaborative to plant 1,000 trees across the University District.

In less than two years, the project has planted 435 trees between Main Street, Bailey Avenue and Eggert Road; brought together more than 1,000 volunteers; and raised more than $20,000 to purchase trees.

Among the 300-plus volunteers that took part in the event were more than 100 UB students, faculty and staff from the UB Academies and Honors College.

ReTree the District also is becoming known for its experimental use of digital technology for community mapping, volunteer recruitment, event coordination and field-based troubleshooting.

As part of the project, Buffalo residents are encouraged to adopt the newly planted trees through a pilot tree stewardship program to increase survivorship rates.

For more information, visit the ReTree the District website.