LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Could more trees be the answer to a healthier lifestyle? That's one of the thoughts behind a proposed ordinance up for consideration among metro council members.
"The times has come today to step up and recognize that a healthy live canopy is an integral part of our community's infrastructure," one woman said in front of the metro council public works and park committee Tuesday.
Committee members received input on a plan that could create more cover throughout the city. Louisville is described as a heat island, meaning it's hotter than surrounding rural communities because of the amount of concrete and blacktop. More trees, many hope, could result in overall cooler temperatures. It's something homeowners say they already experience.
"My neighborhood is three, four, five degrees cooler. Sometimes ever 10 degrees cooler than downtown," said another homeowner who lives in Clifton Heights.
Replacing trees that are torn down on public land either from disease, development or storms would have to be replaced under the proposal. Homeowners could also face fines for removing a tree without a permit. It's those costs that deter some from supporting the ordinance.
"It's going to create a lot of financial responsibility of people of west Louisville. A lot of people don't have the money that other people in the community have," one woman said addressing council members.
The ordinance would create an escrow fund for low-income homeowners to help pay for the maintenance, planting and removal of trees. Supporters hope to plant a seed for future growth.