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Syracuse is located at 43°2′49″N 76°8′40″W  /  43.04694°N 76.14444°W  / 43.04694; -76.14444 (43.046899, -76.144423).
According to the United States Census Bureau , the city has a total area of 25.6 square miles (66 square kilometres), of which 25.1 square miles (65 square kilometres) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 square kilometres) (2.15%) water.
The city stands at the northeast corner of the Finger Lakes region. The city has many neighborhoods which were originally various villages that joined the city over the years. Although the central part of Syracuse is flat, many of its neighborhoods are located on small hills such as University Hill and Tipperary Hill . Land to the north of Syracuse is generally flat while land to the south is hilly.
About 27 percent of Syracuse's land area is covered by 890,000 trees — a higher percentage than in Albany , Rochester or Buffalo . This is despite the Labor Day Storm of 1998, a derecho which destroyed approximately 30,000 trees. The sugar maple accounts for 14.2 percent of Syracuse's trees, followed by the Northern white cedar (9.8 percent) and the European buckthorn (6.8 percent). The most common street tree is the Norway maple (24.3 percent) followed by the honey locust (9.3 percent). The densest tree cover in Syracuse is in the two Valley neighborhoods, with 46.6 percent of their land covered by trees. The lowest tree cover percentage is found downtown , which consists of only 4.6 percent trees.
Syracuse's main water source is Skaneateles Lake , one of the country's cleanest lakes , located 15 miles (24 kilometres) southwest of the city. Water from nearby Onondaga Lake is not drinkable due to industrial dumping that spanned many decades, leaving the lake heavily polluted. Incoming water is left unfiltered , and chlorine is added to prevent bacterial growth. For periods of drought, there is also a backup line which uses water from Lake Ontario .
Onondaga Creek , a waterway that runs through downtown, flows northward through the city. There is a creek walk and plans etc. etc. etc... that will connect the Lakefront and Inner Harbor to Franklin Square , Armory Square , The Valley , and ultimately the Onondaga Nation . The creek is navigable, yet can be quite a challenge as its channelized nature speeds up its flow, particularly in the spring, when it may be dangerous. Drownings of youngsters resulted in fencing of the creek through some residential areas.
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