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Groups planting trees in the Valley to help keep temperatures lower in the summer

Posted at 4:02 AM, Nov 16, 2018

While Arizonans are enjoying cooler temperatures this time of year, residents cannot forget that millions of us live in a place called the "Valley of the Sun" for a reason.

While everyone can agree that the sweltering heat leaves all of us sweating in the summer months, some volunteers and city employees are sweating now to cool things down later.

American Express volunteers, City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation, Trees Matter, and The Nature Conservancy in Arizona are all taking action Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. by planting 50 native trees to the Rio Salado Recreation Trail in South Phoenix

According to a press release, the volunteers will target the "northeast corner of the 7th Avenue Bridge, south of Lower Buckeye Road, on the east side of 7th Avenue." 

This is part of a pilot program within cities like Phoenix and Mesa. They are working to develop Heat Action Plans and targeting neighborhoods and communities that see even higher temperatures in the summer than other parts of the Valley.

RELATED: 'Urban island' heat tests Phoenix, other large cities

For example, this South Mountain trail is usually 12 degrees hotter than a community just two miles away in the summer.

Organizers explain in the press release that, by planting trees, their goal is " create a network of corridors that provide shade and green space to cool temperatures along a popular trail." 

Something as simple and environmentally friendly as planting trees can drop temperatures by at least five degrees and in an Arizona summer, each degree makes a big difference in not just comfort but saving lives. 

RELATED: Phoenix taking action to cut heat-related deaths