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A new program has officially launched to increase the number of trees planted in the region. Photo Courtesy of PECO.
A new program has officially launched to increase the number of trees planted in the region. Photo Courtesy of PECO.

PECO launches ReLeaf, a new program to increase tree planting in the region

This effort is part of PECO’s increased investment to expand the region’s urban tree canopy and reap its benefits.

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To make good on an increased investment in tree planting and education across the Greater Philadelphia region, PECO has officially launched a new program, ReLeaf.

The program is designed to expand the region’s urban tree canopy and achieve the program’s projected goal of planting one tree for every tree removed.

This will be done in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS).

During an event on April 19, PECO announced a $200,000 donation to PHS, twice the company’s annual investment, to increase resources for the organization’s tree programming. This includes new investments in Yard Tree Giveaways and TreeVitalize Watershed Grant programs. The ultimate goal is to plant more than 15,000 trees annually across the southern Pennsylvania region. 

“When planted right, trees offer our customers a number of benefits,” said Romona Riscoe Benson, PECO’s director of corporate and community impact. She noted energy and money savings, and support to promote a cleaner, brighter future for communities among them. 

“It is our partnerships with organizations like PHS that allow us to build on our goals and explore new ways to enhance our commitment to environmental stewardship and social equity,” added Riscoe Benson. 

More than 1,500 trees were unloaded during Tuesday’s event, and will be delivered to locations for pick up by those enrolled in the PHS Tree Tenders program, which provides workshops in tree planting and care and works with volunteer-based community groups to plant and maintain trees. 

Locations include Hunting Park, Olney, Nicetown-Tioga and Point Breeze in Philadelphia; Darby and Swarthmore in Delaware County; and Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove in Chester County. 

Matt Rader, President of PHS, also shared sentiments about the importance of trees.

“Trees are essential to improving air quality, reducing heat islands, and offering shade cover to communities,” he said. 

He added that this new commitment will help PHS further its reach and continue increasing the positive health outcomes born out of planting more trees. 

PECO’s director of corporate and community impact and PHS' president pose with $200,000 check. Photo Courtesy of PECO.
PECO’s director of corporate and community impact and PHS' president pose with $200,000 check. Photo Courtesy of PECO. 

In 2021, PECO provided $100,000 of support to PHS, resulting in approximately 8,700 new trees and 1,400 new shrubs in the region. PECO has also invested more than $2.3 million in Green Region Grants to promote open space and tree planting. 

Last year, PECO also announced its Path to Clean mission, setting a goal to reduce operations-driven emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This mission is also part of the foundation of the ReLeaf program.

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