Innovation That Matters

QR codes used to encourage citizens to adopt neighborhood trees


The District of Columbia Department of Transportation's Canopy Keepers project has hung QR codes on newly-planted trees in the state, enabling residents to easily sign up to care for them.

The District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation has recently launched a new scheme as part of its Canopy Keepers project, which enables residents to easily adopt a newly-planted tree using QR codes. Four wards in the district – Adams Morgan, Brookland, Fairlawn and Tenleytown – will be the sites for the piloting of the scheme, which will see new trees planted on the state’s streets tagged with a QR code. Passersby who scan the images with a smartphone will be automatically directed towards a form on the Department of Transportation website to register their interest in caring for the tree. Adoption involves applying ten gallons of water to the tree each week between the beginning of spring to the start of winter, clearing away weeds or litter and alerting the department to any larger maintenance requirements. Canopy Keeper registrants receive a slow-drip watering tub free of charge to help them carry out their task. According to the scheme’s organizers, although the department has its own tree maintenance staff, it relies on the help of citizens to keep the trees thriving. The Canopy Keepers’ QR code scheme makes it easier for the residents and businesses of DC to help out in their local community. One to replicate elsewhere? Spotted by: Parul Rohatgi



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