In Ward 1, there are 162 empty tree boxes designed to have a tree planted in them. In Ward 5, that number skyrockets to 3,728 empty tree boxes.
These numbers come from the District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration, which is responsible for maintaining and increasing the number of trees in the city’s public spaces.
District resident Emanuel Feld, 23, culled through this city data to create an interactive map in which residents can see where the city has vacant tree boxes and lodge a request with the city to plant some. The site, GetDCTrees.org, launched Wednesday and Feld hopes it results in a more equal distribution of trees throughout the District.
“Mainly my hope is to get a lot of requests in the areas that don’t have a lot of trees yet,” Feld said. “I’m hoping that people outside of Ward 1 are requesting trees.”
In total, Feld said there are 160,000 tree boxes or planting grass strips throughout the city, with 13,000 of them currently open.
Feld volunteers with Code for DC — an organization that works on Web-based products to serve the city. He said this latest project took him a a few days to complete and that he worked with the Urban Forestry Administration to confirm the accuracy of the data.
The city already has an online request system for trees in place, and Feld said his Web site is intended to simplify that process. GetDCTrees.org links up to the city’s 311 request service.
The Urban Forestry Administration runs a tree planting season each year between November and May. All tree planting requests must be submitted by June 15 to be processed for the upcoming planting season.