Rent an apartment, plant a tree?

Crescent volunteers planting a tree.
Crescent volunteers planting a tree.

Developers often face criticism for cutting down trees. Now, Crescent Communities is partnering with TreesCharlotte to launch a new program called “Tree for a Key,” which will donate a tree to be planted every time the company signs a lease at certain properties.

The first apartments to come under the program will be Crescent Dilworth, a 296-unit building on East Morehead Street. TreesCharlotte, a nonprofit working with the city to reach a goal of 50 percent tree canopy cover, said Tree for a Key will help restore the city’s trees.

“We’re excited to partner with Crescent Communities on this bold new initiative,” said Dave Cable, executive director of TreesCharlotte, in a statement. “It’s refreshing to see a developer and corporate sponsor take an active role in sustainability and plan for the future livability of their communities.”

Here’s how the program works: Each time a new lease is signed for a Crescent apartment at selected communities, a new tree will be planted. The location will be recorded and accessible on an interactive map, and residents will receive a card explaining the donation.

“This innovative new program represents Crescent’s commitment to the environment and to improving communities where we develop,” said Jenny Vallimont, director of stewardship and innovation at Crescent, in a statement. “We think the opportunity to have a tangible local impact, even with something as seemingly simple as planting a tree, will resonate with our residents.”

Crescent said it will expand the program, including to other markets. The company is working to reach agreements with other partners in Nashville, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; and Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo