The Urban Orchard Project | Environment
Have you taken a walk through Riverside Park lately and won-dered about the new grove of seed-lings planted at the north end of the park?
The Urban Forest Project is a new initiative led by Friends of Grand Rapids Parks partnering with the city of Grand Rapids.
The project's key focus is to en-gage community members in planting and growing a vibrant and healthy urban forest. The trees in Riverside Park launched the project in partnership with the Lions Club, with a planting of 113 trees (11 varieties).
One goal of the Urban Forest Project is to increase the tree cano-py within the city to 40%.
To make this 40% mark, nearly 200,000 trees will need to be plant-ed. This ambitious goal is not just to beautify the city, though it will definitely do that. An increased tree canopy is an attractive way to deal with very practical problems, like keeping water out of the storm drains. This will help to keep pol-lution out of our waterways and ultimately out of our drinking wa-ter. Trees also sequester carbon and clean the air. They also lower energy usage when planted around homes or businesses.
Another exciting aspect of the Urban Forest Project is the Citizen Tree Map, a crowd-sourced educa-tional tree map in which individu-als in the community will be able to enter information about specific trees, upload photos, learn how to identify various tree species, and more.
Watch for more infor-mation and calls for com-munity engagement on this project, aimed at im-proving the environmen-tal health of our city and neighborhood.
Every tree counts. Have you thought about plant-ing a tree in your yard?