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Mayor proposes bill to grow Nashville tree canopy

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Posted at 9:05 PM, Oct 29, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As development booms in this city on the rise, there’s one trend that Nashville city leaders say is going in the opposite direction.

From 2008 to 2016, the city says it has lost 13% of the city’s trees — more than 900 acres in total.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper has proposed a new bill that would take some money from what the city already collects in building permits — among other fees — and use it to increase the number of trees in Nashville.

The group Nashville Tree Conservation Corps says Nashville has seen several instances of flash flooding this year that they say is due in part to fewer trees and more surfaces like pavement that cannot absorb water.

"When you reduce the canopy in our city, you increase the flooding in our city as well, as well as reduce air quality," said Jim Gregory with the Nashville Tree Conservation Corps.

The administration's bill would be in addition to the requirement that developers replace some of the trees they remove when constructing new buildings.

The mayor's office says it's the first of its kind tree bill in the country.