Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, Friends of Druid Hill Park, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will partner to create a nature play space for children in Druid Hill Park. Though the children live close to the park, the daily experience for most of them involves moving along flat, hard surfaces and playing on uniform, metal playground equipment. Connecting these children to a nature play space will allow them to climb, explore and otherwise navigate the variable surfaces and textures of nature. Tree and log hugging will be encouraged!
The space will be approximately 5000 square feet and comprised of natural materials collected from the storage and processing yard managed by the Forestry division. Logs, stumps, branches and mulch processed from downed city trees will be delivered to the site and the space will conform to playground safety and liability guidelines. Plantings will include 5 shade trees and 30 native willow shrubs formed into a tunnel. In addition, interpretive signage will educate the public about the value of trees, the benefits of play and the importance of children connecting to nature.
The Wood Street Arbor Day project will encompass the combined efforts of the Town of Bristol, the non-profit Mosaico Community Development Corporation, the Bristol Warren School District, Blithewold Gardens & Arboretum, Roger Williams University, and local businesses. Four main areas of focus will include the following:
- An educational component including a lesson plan on trees and their benefits for third graders
- The planting of 25 to 30 native species of trees with help from students, their families, neighbors, and local businesses
- A culminating educational neighborhood celebration featuring interactive stations where attendees will have opportunities to create terrariums, see soil testing demonstrations, learn how to ID trees, among other things
- Follow-up maintenance and evaluation conducted by the conservation commission and neighborhood residents and businesses
This project will bring together several representative groups to enhance a low-income neighborhood, while educating its youngest residents and their families about the importance of trees, their impact on the environment, and how to maintain the trees so that they continue to provide beauty and health to the neighborhood.
The New York Tree Trust, a program of NYC Parks, and El Puente plan to engage approximately ninety residents to improve tree cover and health through tree planting and stewardship activities in the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, specifically in and around the area of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.
A low-income community of primarily Latino residents, “The Southside,” or “Los Sures,” has endured a long struggle with its open spaces. Working within the area bordered by Borinquen Place to the north, Keap Street to the east, Broadway to the south, and Havemeyer Street to the west, existing NYC Parks Department funding will be leveraged to plant approximately 30 new trees with steel tree guards (a value of over $80,000), and use funds available through the TD Green Street Grant program to host six stewardship days in which community members will learn about tree care, plant perennials, add mulch, and conduct general maintenance of tree pits. This exciting event will provide volunteers with an entry point to learn about and participate in caring for neighborhood trees while building community pride.
Delray Beach, FL
The Southwest neighborhood in Delray Beach is made up of more than 70% minorities, primarily African Americans and islanders of Bahamian and Haitian descent. Fruit trees have played an integral role in their land use and culture but were lost when Interstate 95 was constructed. To say this area is low-income, is an understatement. 78% of children in the area are growing up in households that are living 200% below the poverty level.
As a way to revitalize the lost fruit trees and address the food desserts in the area, Community Greening will partner with the Parks and Recreation Department among others to develop a new, two-acre Community Grove of fruit trees and native trees next to Interstate 95 on the property of Catherine Strong Park.
Students will help to prepare the land and plant and maintain the trees while participating in workshops about biodiversity, pollinators and the food web. Additionally, teens will work with a local videographer to create short educational/testimonial videos that will be shared via social media. The main goal of the educational material dissemination is to engage young people in sharing that being green is cool and fun and motivating residents to rally around an improvement effort that multiple generations are excited about.
The City of Hartford, in partnership with nonprofit organization KNOX, Inc., and in coordination with the City Forester and Hartford Tree Commission, will plant trees at Simpson-Waverly elementary school in the Northeast Neighborhood of Hartford. Based on the success of previous tree plantings at schools in the neighborhood, KNOX will be able to engage residents and volunteers in the plantings, keeping the community at the forefront of the project. Priority placement for the new trees will be along the high-trafficked ball fields where almost no trees remain and heat becomes a limiting factor for fans and young athletes. As it stands, there is only one set of bleachers with any shade. New trees at the school will encourage more outdoor play and achieve the City's and KNOX's goal of growing our tree canopy. As the plantings will be at the elementary school, KNOX and the City will reach out to partner with students to engage them in the tree planting process and to provide them parallel environmental education through our Gaia's Guides curriculum.
Together with the City Arborist, the Morris School District and additional community partners, the Morristown Shade Tree Commission (STC) will plant and maintain 20 trees in Morristown. Trees will be planted in two locations: The Lafayette Learning Center Preschool and the Morristown High School. This project area lies both within and adjacent to the Second Ward of Morristown, which is largely isolated from the popular downtown area. The Second Ward has a population of 3,672, of which 22.7% of residents live below the poverty level and 37.6% of families live below the median family income level making this a "low" income area. The tree planting will take place during Arbor Day events at both sites where residents and students will be invited to participate in the tree planting celebration.
In addition, this initiative will include a community-wide education component. Teachers at the Morris School District will incorporate appropriate grade level curriculum for students to learn about the lifecycle of trees and their importance to the community. Training for STC members will be provided in order to assist with the tree maintenance and to ensure the survival rate of the newly planted trees. Events for education, maintenance, and outreach focused on the importance of community forestry will also be hosted.
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation will partner with the Tree Tenders program of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and their affiliated Tree Tenders group, Philly Tree People (PTP), to undertake a large scale street tree planting and stewardship project in the Kensington and East Kensington neighborhoods of Philadelphia.
These neighborhoods suffer from critically low tree canopy, currently under 5%. PTP was organized in 2007 to increase their neighborhood’s tree canopy by promoting and leading local volunteer tree plantings and has been very successful at generating interest in tree planting; indeed, demand for new trees is now exceeding available local resources for planting. This grant will allow PTP to plant an additional 130 trees within their service area, addressing the backlog of tree applications and positioning them to meet future demand. In addition, this project will significantly increase PTP’s capacity to plant, maintain, and monitor trees in the future through strengthened partnerships and customized training and support, including necessary tools and supplies.
Rock Hill, SC
The Confederate Park Reforestation Project aims to increase the canopy at one of the City of Rock Hill’s neighborhood parks by planting a swath of urban forest to shade play areas at the park. Project plans include an inventory and assessment of trees at the park, planting a diversity of large canopy and smaller understory trees, and involving the community through education and engagement in the project. The City is excited to expand Confederate Park’s urban forest, as it is an important part of the active and vibrant Rock Hill community.
The Great American Cleanup is an opportunity to bring the Youth Ambassador Program and Environmental Education Program of Tampa, FL, together for the first time. A Youth Ambassador Beautification Committee will be established that will attend classes on tree care and plantings at our Florida Learning Garden. This committee will be given the tools and support to lead beautification projects and assist volunteers throughout other Great American Cleanup activities. With this grant, a tree planting project will take place at a local county park.
Prior to the event, students will be educated on the importance of the environment and why they are responsible for keeping their community litter-free. Students will be invited to the Florida Learning Garden where they will receive education and hands on learning from a certified staff member as well as a tree care class. The Florida Learning Garden is an educational facility utilized for education presentations, community workshops, volunteer service projects, school field trips and a summer camp. The students will get a first-hand experience at what it is like to be a forester by practicing at the Florida Learning Garden and then planting trees in the community park next to their school. This project will focus on educating youth about the benefits of trees, taking care of our environment and agriculture in our community. The Great American Cleanup is a wonderful opportunity to tie together this hands-on educational experience to connect with youth.
Partnering with the Wilmington Housing Authority and other organizations, the City of Wilmington proposes to plant 50 trees along streets in Hillcrest and Houston Moore neighborhoods. The project proposes to blend the educational aspects and planting of trees with fun and food to encourage residents to learn to appreciate the benefits of trees. Because of summer heat, it is critical that the project also include plans for watering the new trees. The City will provide recycled wood chip mulch, and a water trailer will be purchased that can be used for watering the trees.
Training for volunteers will begin in March with a planting being held the first Saturday in April. At the end of April, the Celebration of Trees for Arbor Day will be held at Houston Moore. A major focus will be placed on children’s activities: Dr. Seuss’ Lorax books for 6-9 year olds; coloring books on trees for younger children; and Art of Nature hands-on workshop conducted by a local children’s art program. A second event at Hillcrest, the Summer Shade Celebration, will feature either “WALL-E” or “Over the Hedge”. Both emphasize the importance of trees.
UNCW interns will work to monitor the trees, analyze the results of the events with attendance numbers, and meet with community leaders to ascertain their satisfaction with scales designed by the class. The project results will be summarized on a flyer as yet another way to educate and engage the community.
- The Bronx, NY
- Charleston, SC
- Chelsea, MA
- Easton, PA
- Hartford, CT
- Hoboken, NJ
- Miami, FL
- North Hempstead, NY
- Tampa, FL
- Worcester, MA
The Bronx, NY
The city of New York and local nonprofit The Bronx River Alliance are working together to improve wildlife habitat and protect and restore the Bronx River Forest. They hope to do this while engaging local community volunteers in the process of building long-term stewardship—including over 200 volunteers from schools such as Bronx Community Charter School and The Learning Tree and local groups including Bronx Park East Community Association.
The Bronx River Forest is one of the last functioning floodplains in all of NYC. Although major improvements have been made this past decade, continued management is needed to sustain the vital functions the floodplain provides to the river. This project will help to plant approximately 600 native trees in 3 plots totaling 13,340 square feet (.31 acres) over the span of a year. By engaging the community in planting and stewardship activities—and providing education about environmental issues on the river—funds from TD Green Streets will help hundreds of people connect to their natural surroundings and become advocates for the forest’s future. These service learning experiences are valuable opportunities for residents of all ages to gain lifelong skills in ecological restoration and develop a foundation of stewardship for the river.
The City of Charleston will use the funds from its TD Green Streets grant to contribute to the overall livability and sustainability of neighborhoods by planting 25 to 30 trees. The trees will be planted in areas where the city provides home repair services and newly constructed homes for LMI families. Planting trees on neighborhood streets where there is little or none present will improve air quality and contribute to the beautification of communities. In addition to the planting of trees, the grant will also be used to provide scholarships to volunteers and city staff for training/education. Through the use of this grant, Charleston plans to increase the impact on the city’s neighborhoods through partnerships with the Mayor’s 10,000 Trees for Charleston Initiative, the city’s Urban Forestry Division, Charleston Trees, New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church, Historic Charleston Foundation, Trees SC and community stakeholders.
The City of Chelsea’s TD Green Streets program will encompass the planting of street trees in the city’s lowest income and most densely populated neighborhoods and the creation of a bi-lingual afterschool tree planting program. Goals of the program include increasing tree cover in densely populated communities of Chelsea and developing community awareness of the value and role trees have in improving quality of life. This program is a team effort between the City of Chelsea and the volunteer-based Chelsea Green Space Committee (Green Space).
The community at large will be involved as tree stewards and therefore will strengthen the community, encourage tree planting, bring neighbors and residents together and make people aware of the importance of trees to the urban fabric. The TD Green Streets grant will enhance the City of Chelsea’s Urban Forestry Program by attracting community attention to and involvement in the work of the Chelsea Tree Board in promoting the expansion and maintenance of the city’s tree canopy and by furthering the reach and goals of a tree class that has been offered annually on Arbor Day for the past three years. In addition, it will deepen the knowledge and breadth of work underlying Chelsea’s status as a Tree City USA.
The City of Easton, in partnership with the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership, the Easton Area Community Center, West Ward residents and student volunteers from Lafayette College, will work to revitalize Easton’s densely populated West Ward by planting street trees and educating the residents about basic tree care. With TD Green Streets funds, they will pilot a program of tree planting—using small trees that are appropriate for the tight spacing of the homes and overhead utilities. This will include education, incentives for participation and follow-up tree care. The city’s street tree inventory shows that there are 150 possible planting sites in this area. The city and its partners will work with residents to identify sites, cut the tree wells and purchase trees. They will also work with the residents and volunteers to plant the trees. This program will truly enhance Easton’s community forestry program by demonstrating how appropriately-sized trees can improve the streetscape without causing hardship and by fostering a greater sense of ownership of the trees.
The City of Hartford will work with its closest nonprofit forestry partner, KNOX, and neighborhood residents to continue the expansion of the Trees for Hartford’s Neighborhoods (TFHN) model into the planting and care of 71 fruit trees on two planting days. TFHN challenges neighborhoods to come together to request, plant and care for trees. With funds from their TD Green Streets grant, the city and KNOX will close the final gap in the TFHN model. The City Forester and KNOX meet with the neighborhood twice to choose trees, plan the planting and provide instruction for aftercare. The residents will plant the trees with the assistance of city and KNOX staff. Regular check-ins will follow to ensure the new trees are properly maintained. KNOX will replicate this model with fruit trees in Hartford’s North End, traditionally one of the city’s most challenging neighborhoods. This project will reverse long-held mistrust of trees in some neighborhoods stemming from the mass planting of Silver Maples (and their tendency to split) 70 years prior. In five years, this city program has expanded from planting 100-200 trees a year to 1,000 trees a year. This is part of the Mayor’s goal of 20,000 new trees in the next 10 years in order to revive the canopy’s economic, social and environmental benefits.
The City of Hoboken, along with the Hoboken Shade Tree Commission will use funds from the TD Green Streets grant program to launch an outreach and education program aimed at increasing public awareness of trees among children, families and business owners. The project will be carried out in partnership with the Hoboken Board of Education, Hoboken Housing Authority, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Newark Conservancy. The proposed Hoboken City Tree Awareness Program will include educational presentations in Hoboken through the Greater Newark Conservancy’s Reverse Field Trip Program, school field trips to the Judith L. Shipley Urban Environmental Center, community tree planting and volunteer maintenance events, and workshops that teach proper tree maintenance practices to business and property owners in Hoboken.
Hoboken’s high population density ranks among the top four municipalities in the nation. This makes community forestry of great importance. Congested urban streets are lined with 3-4 story brownstones, resulting in limited parkland and narrow sidewalk space available for street trees. By engaging youth and adult audiences with educational programming on street trees and connecting with business and property owners to increase tree maintenance capacity, the city will use grant funding to advance several goals in the city’s Community Forestry Plan. They hope to educate residents and businesses in the city of the need to protect and maintain each and every tree.
Funding from the TD Green Streets grant program in Miami will be used towards an inter-agency tree planting and volunteer training project located at the Northside Metrorail Station. The Northside Tree Planting Project will be implemented and coordinated by the Community Image Office of the Miami-Dade County Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces. For decades, urban sprawl and development have been impacting the community’s tree canopy. The concept and objectives of this project tie into the vision of the Million Trees Miami Campaign, a county-level community-wide effort led by Parks, to plant a million trees by 2020 and achieve 30% tree canopy coverage in Miami-Dade County. The TD Green Streets grant will enhance the current forestry program by directly assisting in the planting of trees in a highly visible, high-transit location. It is critical to the Million Trees Miami Campaign that the ‘plant-a-tree’ message is shared as widely and frequently as possible. The grant project will help in this goal by enabling the city to add and maintain new trees, train volunteers and nonprofit staff in tree management, fabricate and install interpretive signage and reach thousands of local residents through their efforts.
North Hempstead, NY
The Town of North Hempstead will use their TD Green Streets grant funds to increase the tree canopy in the residential neighborhood of New Cassel, which borders a highly industrial region. Along with the increased tree canopy, the town will also work with existing community nonprofit organizations and the local high school to educate residents on the benefits of a tree canopy as well as proper care and maintenance. New Cassel, which is located in the Westbury region, is a perfect example of how Long Island was developed—not only with a lack of planning that led to sprawl, traffic and other problems, but, in many cases, with the unexpressed yet deliberate purpose of creating segregated and disenfranchised communities for people of color. Through years of neglect, racial steering, environmental contamination and no access to the power structure, New Cassel had become one of the most impoverished and disenfranchised communities on Long Island.
North Hempstead has been working with the hamlet of New Cassel for more than a decade to address brownfields, blight and economic deterioration through the upgrade of infrastructure, the attraction of new business and community housing, the deployment of new community facilities and the development of parks and recreational space. The town has joined with the private sector, the community and all levels of government to revitalize New Cassel with $80 million in private development, including the country’s first LEEDs-Platinum Certified Community Center. The Town has been partnering with the Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation to combat the years of neglect, racial steering and environmental contamination. These funds will allow for increased planting, maintenance and education of trees in a low to middle income community that was adversely affected for decades and made worse recently after Superstorm Sandy destroyed over 1,700 trees.
Long-term sustainability of the urban forest requires strong public/private partnerships. The City of Tampa—in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education program, University of Florida, Tampa Heights Senior Civic Association and the VM Ybor Neighborhood Civic Association—will implement a three-pronged program for the urban forestry initiatives incorporating human capital, education and community management. The program will increase residential engagement so that individuals participate in the design, planting, establishment and long-term care of trees. TD Green Streets funding will ensure this important program continues.
The city will implement training developed by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Service for the Tampa Neighborhood Tree Steward Program, and the program will end with tree plantings in the neighborhoods of Ybor City and Tampa Heights.
The City of Worcester—in collaboration with the Worcester Tree Initiative, Worcester Common Ground and Lutheran Social Services—proposes to plant 20 fruit and nut trees on two inner city lots cultivated and maintained by immigrant farmers who will harvest the fruit, increasing their food security. The 20 trees will be planted around the perimeter of the lots, with the interior space used as a community garden site. The Jaques Ave. Community Orchard project will focus on education, training and skills building. A high-profile Community Planting event will increase awareness of the benefits of trees to the entire Worcester community. Immigrant farmers and other community volunteers will plant the trees after being trained by Worcester Tree Initiative staff. Two skills building workshops, targeted at fruit tree growers, will be held during the summer and fall. Interpreters will be hired to work with the immigrant farmers who are not English-speaking.
Worcester’s community forestry program focuses on planting street trees throughout the city. This project will expand the types of trees from what has traditionally been planted, increasing diversity of the urban forest. It will also expand the number of community groups involved in and aware of community forestry, thereby developing long-term, skilled volunteer tree stewards. From this project, the city hopes to learn what works and what doesn’t regarding growing fruit and nut trees in Worcester—which species perform the best, which fruits are most desirable and valuable and what are the best methods for harvesting the most healthy, organic food for city residents.
- Burlington, VT
- Casselberry, FL
- Cheltenham Township, PA
- Greenville, SC
- Myrtle Beach, SC
- Newark, NJ
- Salem, MA
- Springfield, MA
- West Palm Beach, FL
- Wilmington, DE
The city of Burlington feels that citizen involvement in the care of the urban forest is the key to its vitality and sustainability. To increase their involvement, the city gave residents a sense of ownership for the trees by having a community tree planting event and multiple opportunities to become involved and trained in tree maintenance. Many partners were involved in the tree planting, education, and maintenance activities, including BOB!, Cedar Street Residents, TD Bank employees, and UVM students, Burlington also worked closely with the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program through the state’s Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation to ensure the educational materials, tree planting and maintenance activities, and training opportunities were conducted appropriately and were consistent with state initiatives.
With the TD Green Streets grant funding, seventeen trees in the Old North End were planted. The trees were sourced locally and were between 2-3" caliper. The ten trees planted on Cedar Street were planted in direct response to a coordinated grassroots effort by the residents of that street to bring trees to their block; the seven remaining trees replaced trees that were lost in the summer of 2012. The tree planting event served as the city Arbor Day celebration, and took place on the last Saturday in April.
Cheltenham Township, PA
The TD Bank Green Streets Grant supported Cheltenham’s long range goals to foster sustainability, promote quality of life, continue to manage storm water concerns, and positively influence environmental change by planting 40 new trees. The neighborhood that received the trees is comprised mainly of a 1,798 unit apartment complex known as Lynnewood Gardens and a small community park. Cheltenham used the grant to increase the tree canopy in those areas, replace storm damaged trees, and provide additional trees to filter storm water in an area that features substantial impervious surfaces and is devoid of built environment infrastructures to manage storm water. In fact, the area does not even have a storm water catch basin, which helps to mitigate storm water by catching it and releasing it slowly at a controlled rate so that downstream areas are not flooded or eroded. Since Cheltenham Township has such a profound relationship with the Tookany/Tacony Frankford watershed, it is especially focused on helping to manage and mitigate storm water flow.
By partnering with Pennsylvania Horticulture Society (PHS), a national expert in community organizing and training for tree plantings, Cheltenham was able to provide its residents and workers with the best training available. Cheltenham relied on PHS to not only train its Public Works Department, residents, and Shade Tree Commission members, but also to help recruit, train, and organize community volunteers.
Greenville’s Green Streets Project combined interactive educational events and programming with the planting of 100 ten foot trees along South Hudson Street in the city’s most poverty-stricken area—the west side.
Greenville’s project engaged some of the city’s youngest residents in collaborative and sustained educational programming that not only taught youth how to plant and care for trees but communicated the broader benefits of trees and the positive impacts an urban tree canopy has on the health of the urban environment. Working in collaboration with the City’s community centers and the Boys and Girls Club of Greenville at the Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Center, children who participated in 2013 summer camps actively learned about trees and the benefits they provide to the Greenville community through activities drawn from two different educational programs—the Urban Naturalist Program and Community Quest. These unique and highly interactive guides provide educators with the tools to introduce students to the natural and built environments and are designed to engage students in the exploration and study of the community just outside their doors. Both programs include background information on trees and the benefits they impart, such as improving air quality and mitigating the urban heat island effect, and, when paired with the Green Streets Project, will gave students valuable insight into how and why the City strives to maintain a sizable urban tree canopy. Once developed and updated, both the Urban Naturalist Teaching Program and Community Quest will be available to educators county-wide via the City’s webpage and through a partnership with the Greenville County School District.
The City of Casselberry used their TD Green Streets grant as part of a multifaceted project under its Green Up Casselberry Program. The project is a collaborative effort that includes multiple educational events and transplanting/planting activities.
- Earth Fest, a large, regional educational event that also serves as a major Arbor Day celebration, drawing thousands of visitors from well beyond the City’s boundaries;
- Wetland Tree Restoration at the Casselberry Greenway Trailhead, a volunteer effort that will plant numerous bald cypress trees to restore natives to this forested wetland;
- Plumosa Oaks Park Restoration, a volunteer effort to clean up the park and ensure its trees are properly mulched
- Founder’s Day Celebration, a fall event which celebrates the history of Casselberry and gives attention to its special azalea and fern business heritage;
- the SR 436/US 17-92 Flyover Tree Preservation and West 17-92 Neighborhoods Streetscape Enhancement ; a novel approach to save numerous large, high value trees that would otherwise be lost due to a major regional transportation project that is due to begin construction within the next year.
The bulk of the trees saved will be planted in the adjacent low to moderate income area west of 17-92 to improve its parks and streets with enhanced tree canopy. In addition, this neighborhood will receive several new bald cypress trees as well as special azalea plantings, honoring Casselberry’s azalea heritage and helping to restore this neighborhood to its prior beauty.
Myrtle Beach, SC
The TD Green Streets Grant helped to enhance Myrtle Beach’s urban forest by providing an opportunity to educate staff and the public about the importance of trees and how to take care of them. This was accomplished using an under-utilized 35-year old neighborhood park that provides connectivity between two low-income neighborhoods that have been separated by an unused railroad line for nearly a century. It is the hope that this community engagement program of planting trees in the park and along the street will create pride and ownership in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Harlem and Carrie Mae Johnson Neighborhood Committee, Sandy Grove Missionary Baptist Church, the Boys and Girls Club, Clemson Extension Service Master Gardener’s Program, and the SC Forestry Commission Urban Forester assisted the City staff in planting the trees. Educational signage about the trees and their proper care including a history of these low-income neighborhoods was placed within the park. Hands-on tree planting and maintenance workshops were provided for staff and the public on the day of the tree planting as well as an opportunity for staff to participate in training such as offered by the Partners in Community Forestry, Clemson Extension Service, Trees SC, SC Forestry Commission, Davey Resource Group, and Bartlett Tree Experts during 2013.
Newark, NJ The TD Green Streets helped to accomplish the following:
- Supported a newly established tree farm—Trees planted on these farms reclaim lots that may otherwise become eyesores or community safety problems. They also provide training and employment opportunities for Newark residents.
- Plant street trees in collaboration with a community organization—Residents from the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark were engaged and trained to maintain the new trees along their streets.
- Assist the City of Newark with a city-wide street tree inventory
- Provide ex-offenders with job training and hands-on experience that will enable them to seek employment in the tree care and nursery industries—Greater Newark Conservancy already manages a highly respected prisoner re-entry program, “Clean and Green.” This program includes 13 weeks of intensive on-the-job training on landscaping and urban farming on vacant City lots. The grant will supported an expansion of the program to include tree nursery care, tree planting and tree maintenance.
The project enhances the City of Newark’s Community Forestry Management Program by supporting ongoing tree planting programs in collaboration with the New Jersey Tree Foundation; improving maintenance practices on newly planted trees, thereby making them more cost-effective to maintain in the long run; through species diversification, improve hardiness and aesthetics of Newark’s urban forest.
The City of Salem’s project encompassed the planting of thirteen (13) new street trees in the City’s lowest income, most culturally diverse, and most densely populated neighborhood, referred to as the Point Neighborhood. The goals of the project were to:
- Increase tree cover in a densely populated Environmental Justice Neighborhood
- Improve the skills of all City Staff who plant and maintain trees
- Fight apathy and improve livability of a dense inner city neighborhood
- Increase stewardship for care and maintenance of trees
- Increase community’s understanding of the value and role trees play in improving quality of life
The project was managed and coordinated by the City of Salem Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) and the Department of Public Services (DPS) performed all the pre-planting work and worked with volunteers to plant the trees. Two non-profit organizations; Salem Sound Coastwatch and the North Shore Community Development Coalition (CDC) helped make this project a success. They recruited and coordinated volunteer efforts, organized and coordinated two tree planting seminars, and developed educational material to educate and publicize the value of trees in the City. Additionally, the City and its partners worked closely with Curtis Dragon (Massachusetts Certified Arborist, Massachusetts Certified Horticulturalist, Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, and owner of Earth Landscapes) who facilitated the training seminars, provided technical support throughout the project, and oversaw the planting of all the trees by City DPS and volunteers.
The project also engaged several schools in the area, many of which are residents of the Point Neighborhood. The North Shore CDC’s YouthBuild Program which draws participants from the Salem Community Charter School, an alternative high-school for at-risk youth seeking a high school diploma, were heavily involved. The students attended the Volunteer/Youth Tree Planting Seminar, volunteered at the tree planting event, and after the planting event worked with the North Shore CDC to refill all the gator bags on a weekly basis to ensure that the newly planted trees were watered and cared for. Also, students from the Horace Mann Laboratory School, a public elementary school located at and affiliated with Salem State University, participated at the tree planting event
This project included the establishment of urban orchards in two Springfield neighborhoods, as well as the development of a community-based Tree Steward training program that will provide residents of the City with education and instruction on the care and maintenance of trees, as well as detail the valuable role that trees play in our urban settings. Additionally, specific training and instruction on the establishment and maintenance of urban orchards provided a cadre of trained volunteers to carry out the important stewardship of the newly established orchards.
The City enlisted the assistance of Regreen Springfield, Inc., a community based, non-profit organization, to carry out most of the tasks outlined in this grant proposal. Included in this partnership was the organization of the urban orchard initiative, the recruitment and training of community volunteers, the development of a module-based educational program on urban forestry, a series of training workshops outlining the value, care and maintenance of urban trees, and the public outreach and visibility for these programs.
The City of Springfield asked ReGreen Springfield, Inc. to enhance its current reforestation plans by establishing urban community orchards in two city neighborhoods. ReGreen Springfield, Inc. is further proposing the development of a community-based Tree Stewardship program that will train city residents on proper tree care and detail the valuable role that trees play in our cities.
All involved in the project recognize and are committed to support the efforts necessary to rebuild the region’s ecological and cultural landscapes continue, and will take many years and a lot of help.
West Palm Beach, FL
This grant will enhance the City of West Palm Beach’s forestry program by increasing the tree canopy in a residential neighborhood close to the City’s urban downtown. The City and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency ("CRA") worked together to create a pilot streetscape project in the Northwest neighborhood. The Northwest neighborhood, a historic neighborhood, is the City’s oldest, African-American neighborhood. Blighted, boarded-up buildings and nuisance uses have plagued this intersection for years. Typically, through community meetings, City elected officials and staff have been told by the neighborhood that they do not want shade trees planted in the neighborhood because of the perception that "drug dealers hang out under the trees". City and CRA staff worked very closely with community leaders and the police department to agree to a pilot program to plant shade trees on a prominent residential street block.
The proposed streetscape project includes native Live Oak shade tree plantings on both sides of the street in the pilot block. Bulb-outs at the street corners will feature bio-swale areas and additional shrubs. The sidewalks will be moved adjacent to the street paving and on-street parking to allow a larger planting/swale area adjacent to private property to provide a better growing area for the roots of the trees.
The Police Athletic League is on this intersection and provides after school and recreational programs for at-risk children in the neighborhood. The Salvation Army also provides after-school and community services in the neighborhood and is approximately four blocks away from this project. Both of these organizations currently have gardens that were created by the children in the program and continue to be maintained by the children. These are just two of the partner organizations that will participate in the community outreach and involvement by utilizing the children to develop educational and promotional materials and assist in educating their parents and other community members about the importance of trees in the community and the environment.
Wilmington’s Community Forestry Program has made great strides in recent years and has demonstrated a commitment to urban trees as green infrastructure. The City of Wilmington used its funding from TD Green Streets to continue their efforts in 2013 and to recruit residents to volunteer as community Tree Stewards in the low to moderate income areas of the City.
The goal of this program was to build an organized network of citizens to champion an increase in tree canopy, as well as care for existing trees. This happened through greater neighborhood coordination of tree planting and care, centralization of new tree requests, and by educating citizens on the benefits of trees and resources available.
The City and The Delaware Center for Horticulture (The DCH) also used this opportunity to provide job skills training to low income residents. For the past 3 years The DCH has offered a Return-to-Work Horticultural Skills Training Program for ex-offenders in work release or on probation. The participants are paid a modest hourly wage, so cannot be considered volunteers. Their 7-week training includes horticulture, soft skills, job readiness and on-the-job field work, and planting hundreds of trees throughout Delaware’s cities and towns in the public rights-of-way and other community locations. The crew worked with Tree Stewards and other volunteers on community tree planting days, such as the NeighborWoods celebration. By the end of 2013, six Return-to-Work crew members will know how to plant and care for trees and will have gained valuable job skills and improved the City’s environment. The DCH will work with crew members to incorporate this experience into their resumes, and use their contacts to assist them in finding future employment in the field.