Tree Tenders is a city-wide program in Philadelphia developed by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. The primary mission of the program is to encourage people to volunteer and plant trees in their neighborhood.
John Dobbs, coordinator for the Olney Tree Tenders, had always been a lover of trees and when first hearing about the Tree Tenders, had wanted to learn how to get more involved with the program.
“We needed three people from our neighborhood in order to go to their training,” Dodds said. “So it was me, my wife and another person. We were able to start the Olney program in 2011.”
The main focus of the Olney Tree Tenders is planting what they call “street trees” in neighborhoods alongside the homes of Olney residents.
Together with his staff of all volunteers, Dodds ventures out into the community to solicit people who may want trees planted by their home.
“We then send an order to the horticultural society, who provides the trees,” Dodds said. “So it’s a great deal all-around.”
The Olney Tree Tenders will be planting 39 trees on Nov. 23 around their Olney neighborhood, totaling to 200 trees planted since the program started.
“Olney is a neighborhood that has lost a lot of its trees and no one has replaced them,” Dodds said. “Planting trees beautifies the neighborhood. It’s mix labor that makes the community look a lot nicer.”