Dozens of volunteers plant trees in Omaha

Volunteers planted trees across North Omaha. They say the trees will one day provide shade and help cool down the area.
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 5:35 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Volunteers are working to make parts of Omaha a little cooler during these warm summer months.

They’re doing it by planting new trees. Saturday morning dozens of volunteers worked in the heat to plant more than 80 trees.

“Many of the streets have been tree barren for a long time and have never seen trees,” said Diana Failla with the Urban Bird and Nature Alliance.

Failla says they’re working to grow and expand the city’s urban tree canopy, especially in North Omaha.

“North Omaha sees a higher incident of asthma per year, one thing that’s near and dear to our organization is to make sure we help improve the air quality in the area and trees give oxygen and help absorb pollution.”

In the summer months, North Omaha tends to be hotter than other parts of the metro, it’s partially due to its lack of shade. These new trees can eventually help change that trend.

“Big streets, lots of concrete, church parking lots, lots of playgrounds that have no trees and so that’s one of our goals to improve the air quality and improve the heat island effect.”

With the help of the Arbor Day Foundation, COX Communication, and Habitat for Humanity, dozens of new and existing homes welcomed new life in their yards.

“Also to improve healthy lifestyles, when we plant trees along walking paths, it cools the grounds 20 to 30% right, so people get out there and they cycle and walk more.”

The volunteers will be hosting another tree planting in the Sacred Heart neighborhood on June 24 and they say anyone is welcome to volunteer.