Registration Opens for Mayor’s Greening Initiative Tree Planting

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PRESS RELEASE — Volunteer registration is now open for the 2019 Mayor’s Greening Initiative tree planting set for Saturday, April 27 in the neighborhood surrounding Roosevelt Park, located off Grandville Avenue SW. The two-day Mayor’s Greening Initiative event features a neighborhood tree planting and free tree giveaway for residents.

The tree planting activities take 9 to 11 a.m. April 27. All ages are invited to volunteer and plant trees. John Ball Zoo, a Mayor’s Greening Initiative partner, is giving all volunteers a day pass to the zoo for planting trees during the event. No experience is necessary and all tools are provided. Volunteers may register online HERE.

The tree giveaway takes place 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 26 at Roosevelt Park. City of Grand Rapids residents are encouraged to come to the park, select a free tree of their choice and plant it on their property. Trees are provided by Bartlett Tree Experts and Lack’s Enterprises.

The Mayor’s Greening Initiative is a partnership of the Mayor’s Office, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the City’s Forestry Department as a way to engage the entire community in reaching our city’s 40 percent tree canopy goal. This year’s effort will bring together community and corporate volunteers who will plant up to 300 trees near Roosevelt Park and Southwest Community Elementary. It also will honor two individuals (to be announced) who have significantly impacted in the neighborhood. This tree planting coincides with Arbor Day – a holiday in which people around the world are encouraged to plant and care for trees.

“Trees play a critical role in cleaning our air, reducing storm water runoff, beautifying our neighborhoods and lowering stress,” Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said. “I hope you will join me again this year in making our city a greener, more sustainable community.”

The inaugural Mayor’s Greening Initiative tree planting in 2016 – launched to help the city reach its goal of a 40 percent tree canopy – planted more than 400 trees across the city through the efforts of volunteers and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.

The City Commission adopted a Green Grand Rapids amendment to the City’s master plan in 2011 to activate the social, economic and environmental benefits of trees. Provisions to that amendment set sights on a 40 percent tree canopy goal. The city’s current tree canopy cover is roughly 35 percent, according to the 2015 Tree Canopy Survey.

“Our goal is the empower people in our community to cultivate vibrant parks, trees and green spaces,” said Stephanie Adams, executive director of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks. “Our longtime partnership with the City and our volunteers brings community together while also highlighting the importance trees.”

This year’s event is made possible through support of community partners ITC Holdings, Verizon Wireless, Consumers Energy Foundation, Peter and Joan Secchia, SIBSCO, Spectrum Health, Bartlett Tree Experts, Lack’s Enterprises, Pioneer Construction, Real Estate by Tammy Jo, John Ball Zoo, SMG, Meijer, Warner, Norcross & Judd,  Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Grand Valley State University Club, OST and Kent Garden Club.

For more information on how to volunteer, contact Dia Noble at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks at dia@friendsofgrparks.org or 616.288.7209.

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