COS 150: Tree Challenge launched with ceremonial tree planting

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Goal: plant 18,071 trees through 2021 to honor City’s upcoming 150th birthday

Mayor John Suthers, City Forester Dennis Will, Parks’ director Karen Palus and others gathered outside the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum Tuesday to kick off the COS 150: Tree Challenge by planting an Ohio buckeye tree in Alamo Square Park.


The planting officially kicks off the COS 150: Tree Challenge. The challenge is a nod to Colorado Springs’ long history of conservation and the vision of tree-lined streets initiated by its founder, William Jackson Palmer, nearly 150 years ago.

The goal of the challenge is to plant and track 18,071 trees by the end of 2021, the year Colorado Springs celebrates its sesquicentennial (150th birthday). To reach this goal, the city is actively encouraging residents, businesses and organizations to participate by reporting all newly planted trees through a user-friendly online form.

“With the help of City Forestry, the tree we plant here today at the Pioneers Museum will thrive and grow,” said Mayor Suthers. “While this one tree will make the city just a little better, what’s really exciting is that together we can accomplish even more. By our sesquicentennial celebration in 2021, our city will have 18,071 more trees, which will truly be a gift to the people that call Colorado Springs home now and for generations to come.”

City Forestry and Colorado Springs Utilities also teamed up to create a free online toolkit with tree care resources, including tips on what tree species are best suited for the Pikes Peak region, and the best times of year and places to plant. The toolkit and tree tracker are available at

For those who may not have a place to plant or would like to fund future planting efforts in the public right of way, including parks and open spaces, donations can be made to the COS 150: Tree Challenge Fund. Those donations can be dropped off or mailed to 1401 Recreation Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80905. As trees are planted through the fund, they will be tracked toward the challenge.

For other upcoming sesquicentennial activities, visit


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