By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’ll be another breath of fresh air every time the Phillies “go yard” this season.

The team is making a pledge on this Earth Day: they’ll plant a tree for every home run they hit this season.

The Phillie Phanatic picked up a shovel, along with Phillies’ infielder Kevin Frandsen and others, to plant the first tree along Richie Ashburn Field in FDR Park.

Phillies’ public affairs director Scott Palmer says this will be the second straight year the team is doing “Home Runs for Trees.”  Last season, 158 trees were planted.

They’ve also given away trees to fans.

“My family adopted a couple of the trees,” Palmer recalls.  “We named them Chase and Ryan.  You’ll be glad to know they’re both blooming, and are both off to a fast start this baseball season.”

The program is part of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society‘s push to plant a million trees in the Philadelphia area by 2020.   PHS president Drew Becher says there are already 260,000 new trees taking root.

“We’re going to be working with neighborhoods and other communities to figure out where they’re going to be planting the trees this fall for the (home runs) they hit,” Becher tells KYW Newsradio.  “Hey — if they do 300, might have two or three communities that we can plant.  So let’s hope.”

Aramark, Einstein Health System, and Bartlett Tree Experts are also supporting the project.



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