Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Treemendous Effort: Harrisburg prepares for street tree planting blitz, seeks community help

Volunteers at a past tree planting in Harrisburg.

A few Harrisburg streets will soon look greener.

The city plans to plant 85 trees on Nov. 11 to 14 in Harrisburg neighborhoods, and officials are looking for community members willing to get their hands dirty.

Over the course of four days, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day, Harrisburg will plant trees in four locations in the Allison Hill and Riverside neighborhoods.

“The streets are going to be noticeably greener,” said city Forester Ellen Roane. “In a couple of years, it will be a huge difference.”

Roane listed some of the trees that the city will plant, including ginko, chinkapin oak, tulip poplar and elm trees, among other types.

The trees were purchased through a grant from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Pennsylvania TreeVitalize Program.

In the spring, Roane held a “Tree Tenders” workshop in partnership with TreeVitalize to train local volunteers on tree planting.

While some volunteers helped with planning the planting event, Roane said they will need many more volunteers to help with the four-day event.

For those interested in volunteering, Roane asks that they sign up via email at or by calling the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Facilities at 717-255-3003.

The city will have some tools available for volunteers, but she encourages people to bring their own. These include shovels, mattocks, picks, rakes and gloves.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the following locations at 9 a.m. for planting demonstrations:

  • Thursday, Nov. 11 – 704 N 16th St.
  • Friday, Nov. 12 – Riverside Fire Station, 3201 N 4th St.
  • Saturday, Nov. 13 – Beyesus Church, 2401 N 4th St.
  • Sunday, Nov. 14 – 3101 Green St.

Roane said that members of the planning team conducted outreach about the free tree planting program before selecting neighborhoods. Streets with significant interest from neighbors were chosen to maximize the impact of the planting, she explained.

With neighborhood support, future plantings could happen in other neighborhoods, as well, Roane said.

For more information, visit the Harrisburg Department of Parks, Recreation and Facilities website.

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