The Valley Permaculture Alliance (VPA), a small nonprofit organization, has big plans to help homeowners reduce energy bills and improve air quality: give away 2,000 drought-tolerant trees by the end of June and 100,000 trees over the next ten years.

Through partnerships with APS and SRP, Valley homeowners completing a tree-planting education workshop designed by a certified arborist can take home two free 3-to-5-gallon desert adaptive, low-water, fast-growing trees per property. For details about times, locations and to register, visit or call (602) 535-4635, Ext. 101.

The offer is only good one time for each property.

Upcoming giveaways are scheduled in Chandler, Mesa, North Scottsdale, Phoenix, Surprise and Tempe.

Workshops, organized and offered either online or in a classroom, provide information about:
 how to pick the right spot on the property to create shade for the home to reduce energy
 picking the right tree
 how to properly plant the tree in rock, grass or decomposed granite
 how to maintain the tree.

“We are the tree people,” said VPA Executive Director Jennifer Bonnett.

“We give away free trees and have for several years. Our Shade Tree program reduces energy and improves air quality. Shade trees planted on the west, east or south side of residential buildings can cut energy an average of 214 kilowatt hours per year per mature tree. Our mission is to educate and engage the entire community to create a healthier, more efficient environment. If we can add a cost-effectiveness factor to the outcome, even better.”

Bonnett said that 10,000 shade trees planted near homes would reduce CO2 emissions from power plants by about 15,000 metric tons over 30 years.

Shade Tree workshops and giveaways are scheduled throughout the year on Saturday mornings.

APS-territory workshops are scheduled at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on the dates that follow. Registration must be completed online.
 April 26: North Scottsdale Distribution, Grayhawk Elementary School, 7525 E. Grayhawk Drive, Scottsdale.
 May 10: Tempe Distribution, Skysong Center, 1475 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.
 May 17: Surprise Workshop and Distribution, Communiversity @ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise.

SRP-territory workshops are scheduled at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Registration must be completed online.

 May 3: South Phoenix Workshop & Distribution, South Mountain Community College, 7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix.
 June 7: Phoenix Workshop, Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 W. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix.
 July 12: Chandler Workshop, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Williams Campus, 7360 E. Tahoe Avenue, Mesa.

For more information about the Shade Tree Program and all VPA programs, visit