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City Gives Residents Free Trees to Replenish Those Lost in Fires

Forestación en espacio público

Forestation in public spaces

Gonzalo González, Secretary of Government

By Jesús Aguado

If you’ve sensed that there have been more forest and brush fires in town this year, you’re right.

Fire Chief Juan Antonio Pérez Solis confirmed that at least 260 hectares of vegetation have been lost to fires in 2019, some of which are attributable to arson and some to accidents. There have been so many fires this year, in fact, the nonprofit volunteer fire department has already gone through its entire budget and is kicking off a fundraiser in June to recoup funds.

These fires have also resulted in large losses of local flora. In an attempt to replace it, the local government recently teamed up with public agencies and private organizations to buy 30,000 new trees, most of them sweet acacias and mezquites, which they plan to give to Sanmiguelenses to plant where they like. The initiative aims to recoup the total number of trees lost in the municipality.

“This is the biggest foresting program in the history of San Miguel. We want every Sanmiguelense to plant a tree—in the rural areas, in the urban zone, in public and private spaces,” Secretary of Government and the City Council Gonzalo González said. “With the [recent]disasters, it is important to take action to benefit our environment before it is too late.”

The current season is the perfect time to plant trees, he added, saying that the rainy season officially has begun, meaning that the new trees will have plenty of water.

To receive a tree, residents must fill out an application form, provide a copy of a government-issued ID card, and bring a photo of the location where the tree will be planted.

González said he understood that some might perceive the requirements as overkill, but explained the local government wants to make sure that the tree will be cared for and will survive.

For more information, visit the Environmental Office at Parque Bicentenario.


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