The City Council today approved an effort by at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley to begin looking at how to increase the number of trees in Boston - especially with developers increasingly tearing down mature trees as they plant their towers and complexes.
The council also approved a resolution by at-large Councilor Annissa Essaibi George to ask the MBTA to ban all alcohol advertising in its stations, trains and buses.
Essaibi George said that would prove an effective way to reducing the attractiveness of booze to young people, and called on the T to offer "advertising of a healthier lifestyle" in its place. The resolution is not binding on the T.
Pressley said trees are "critical to the ecological and overall health of our community" and have been shown to reduce everything from asthma to anxiety and even crime. She said she would start with a survey to determine just how many trees Boston has and what sort of canopy they now provide.
Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) backed the proposal. He pointed to the tlarge numbers of trees he said have died from leaks from underground natural-gas mains and said the tiny young trees that some developers replace larger, more mature trees take decades to full grow.
He concluded by paraphrasing Joyce Kilmer - for whom a school in his district is named: "Legislation is made by fools like we, but only God can make a tree."
At-large Councilor Michael Flaherty also supported Pressley. "I'm not a tree hugger by any stretch of the imagination," he said, then added that he thinks for every tree a developer tears down, it should put up two new ones.