Blog Post By Jona Elwell

We Testified to Protect Public Heritage Trees

On December 8, we testified before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment on bill B23-0922 – the Public Tree Protection and Canopy Expansion Amendment Act. As its title suggests, the Act’s primary goals were to improve protections for trees located on public property (parks, schools, etc.), while also ensuring that if these trees are removed they will be replaced at a rate that will increase tree canopy over time.

Unfortunately, our analysis found that the Act accomplished neither objective, which is reflected in Casey Trees’ testimony (starting on marker 1:54:35). Council Member Cheh, Chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee, agreed, and the legislation was shelved. While additional action on the Act is unclear at this point, it is possible that the Transportation and the Environment Committee may redraft the Act for action to be taken in the next legislative session.


Did staying home last year invigorate your desire to effect change in your neighbor? Are you frustrated that legal loopholes like this exist? Do you have a church or book club member that attends ANC meetings? What about a classmate who points out the success (or failures!) of city mobility, transportation or greenspace initiatives? Don’t forget to share our upcoming Advocacy in the District online workshop!

Advocacy in the District will prepare you to navigate D.C.’s unique political geography to help increase tree canopy in your neighborhood and across the District. By the end of these two classes you will be on your way to reviewing development plans, writing persuasive public comments, and delivering testimony at important District hearings.

Class 1 | Monday, January 18 | 11am – 12pm: Get an overview of the DC government and how development and policy is made in the District.

Class 2 | Monday, January 18 | 1pm – 2pm: Learn how to be an effective advocate and how to write testimonies that you can present to the D.C. Council, Zoning Commission, and more!

Upon completion of BOTH Advocacy in the District courses, you will be eligible to become a Certified Tree Advocate. However, you are welcome to attend Class 1 or Class 2 individually.

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