After seeing the “TreeVitalize” program come to life in other cities throughout Pennsylvania, Hershey native Emily Nolan knew she could help make her hometown a little sweeter by helping to keep it green. Through her summer internship with the Downtown Hershey Association, Emily is responsible for tracking the health of trees located in the downtown area and reporting her findings to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Emily measures the diameter, health, and species of the trees that were planted through TreeVitalize and other street trees in Downtown Hershey. She uploads the statistics and geographic location, as well as photos, to an app.
The TreeVitalize program is a tree management project that helps build capacity within communities to plan for, plant, and care for trees. The program offers educational training to help citizens understand the diverse benefits of trees and the importance of properly planting and maintaining them. TreeVitalize is integral to community efforts to support sustainable urban and community forestry programs across the state. Derry Township was fortunate to receive TreeVitalize grants in the past, which were used to plant trees throughout the township. By sharing the health of the trees planted across our town, the hope is that TreeVitalize will continue to grant downtown Hershey more trees in the coming seasons.
Emily’s project will not only assist in meeting a TreeVitalize program requirement, but it will also provide a base of data that can be used to establish a plan for new street tree plantings in Downtown Hershey. In addition to environmental benefits, street trees help to create a safer walking environments and encourage decreased traffic speeds by providing a visual wall between the sidewalk and cartway.
Emily started volunteering with the Downtown Hershey Association in the summer of 2016, prior to starting her senior year at Hershey High School. Now a rising sophomore at Penn State University, she’s expanding her work with the organization, which initially involved facebook live coverage at events and in local businesses with our brand team. Emily’s currently interested in pursuing a marketing degree and her interest in geography, environmental studies, and economic development made this project a good fit. Emily enjoys interning with the Downtown Hershey Association because it gives her an opportunity to give back to the community she loves!
A special thank you to one of our sponsors, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts!