May 1, 2031
Arlington Tree Committee plants first of 1,000 trees on Mass Ave to reduce heat island effect.
This marker is located at 138 Massachusetts Ave in Arlington, Massachusetts.
Over the past several decades, the Earth has been heating up. But recently, it has worsened. Many, if not all, cities and towns preserve a lot of their space for pavement instead of adding more parks and grassy areas, giving less space for trees. Arlington has Massachusetts Avenue– an area with a lot of paved surfaces, buildings, and just a few trees, which contributes to the heat island effect. When a place is referred to as a ‘heat island’, it means the area heats up quicker and experiences higher temperature. One solution to this is planting trees. The branches and leaves of trees hover over the ground and everything beneath it, blocking the sun and minimizing heat.
On May 1, 2030, many students from the Arlington schools gathered along Mass Ave with neighborhood groups and the ArlingtonTree Committee, who organized the town-wide tree planting. The Red Sunset Maple Tree, also known as the Acer rubrum tree, was one of the several trees planted. Known for its brilliant red and orange leaves, the tree grows almost up to 70 feet, providing much needed shade and cooling of the surrounding pavement. Another tree we planted was the Northern Red Oak. This tree grows up to 80 feet, being a perfect contribution to the tree canopy. The last type of tree planted was the Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). This tree grows up to around 50-80 feet, and can also grow over 30 feet wide.
TAKE ACTION NOW
How can you help reduce the heat island effect? Plant more trees! Trees produce more oxygen for the ecosystem as well as shade to cool the area down. You can also adopt trees and water them to help them grow. Anothing action that could be done is using electric cars instead of gas powered cars. You could also bike or walk to nearby destinations instead of driving.
Arlington Tree Committee (interviews with members)
EPA.gov, Using Trees and Vegetation to Reduce Heat Island Effect
EPA.gov, Heat Island Effect
The Spruce, How to Grow and Care for Red Maple Trees
Gardenia, Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree)