City of Portland planted trees in downtrodden neighborhood and then didn't bother to water them

Two years ago, the Portland Bureau of Transportation planted 30 saplings in a vacant lot within a low-income East Portland neighborhood. Using federal infrastructure funds, the city paid for the baby trees to be watered and cared for by a contractor. Then the contract ran out. So rather than grab their watering cans, the bureau just let the trees wither and die. From Willamette Week:

"It's a big disappointment, but not surprising," says Ray Johnson, who lives nearby. "I can't help but think that if these trees had been planted in a more affluent part of the city, say the West Hills, they wouldn't have forgotten to water them."

Schafer says watering trees is outside the bureau's scope: "We only trim trees for visibility and clear brush. We simply are not set up for nor have the skills for tree maintenance beyond that."[…]

For years, city leaders have focused tree-planting efforts in East Portland, where research by Portland State University's Urban Studies and Planning Department shows the tree canopy is less than half of what it is on the west side of the Willamette River. Climate researchers have warned that areas with less tree coverage mean less protection from the sweltering sun and more deaths due to climate disaster.

(via r/notheonion)