Help Grand Rapids Plant Trees this Spring with the Urban Forest Project

Late winter and early spring is the best time to plant a tree in Grand Rapids, Michigan for a number of reasons. During the winter trees are dormant, and so transplanting them is the least harmful. Spring is also a wet period which means newly planted trees get plenty of moisture naturally without a lot of supplemental watering. The moderate temperatures and regular watering allows their root systems to develop before the drier and hotter summer weather adds stress.

Grand Rapids is known for its interest in trees. Last April the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks won an award for “Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership” from the Arbor Day Foundation. Because of the many community benefits of trees, including pollution and erosion reduction, energy conservation, increased property values, and beautification, in 2011 the Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project made a 40% tree canopy its goal for the city. The city’s tree canopy is currently estimated at 34.6%.

Last December, in order to spur interest and enthusiasm for tree planting not just in city parks, but on private property, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation awarded a grant of $189,000 to the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks. Hopefully we will see a significant increase in the number of trees in the city in 2014. If you will be planting a tree on your property this spring, make sure to add it to the tree map. If you would like to help the Urban Forest Project green Grand Rapids this April, they will be planting trees in Dickinson Buffer Park on April 12 from 9 AM to 1 PM. Wear some work clothes and plan to get dirty expand our tree canopy with other Grand Rapids tree lovers.

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