Looking for places to plant trees in Belmont

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Two local organizations are looking for some people to help plant trees this weekend.

The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards and the Charlottesville Tree Commission are partnering for the second year in a row to plant trees on private property in the Belmont area.

The groups are offering up to 25 three-to-five-year-old native trees to homeowners in the area, thanks to a grant from the Ballyshannon Fund.

Members will be demonstrating how to plant the trees and advising homeowners on how to care for them through the winter.

According to the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards, the number of trees in the city has been declining, causing the tree canopy to go from 50 percent in 2004 to 45 percent in 2014.

The group says there will likely be a further decrease seen during the next aerial survey in 2020.

The stewards say trees have a lot of benefits for homeowners, including reducing daily heating and cooling of asphalt, lowering the cost of cooling a home, leaves and branches capturing up to 30 percent of rainfall and reducing stormwater runoff, and leaves absorbing harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide.

They also absorb noise and hide utility poles and parked cars as well as creating habitat for birds and insects.

The groups are asking people to look around and see where they think more trees could be planted.

They are also working on a way to fund more plantings and to help neighborhoods with few trees that could benefit from the environmental and economic impacts trees can have.

The Charlottesville Tree Stewards and the Charlottesville Tree Commission will be gathering on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Belmont Park.

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