On Saturday, May 5, the City of St. Louis and several community partners will plant 100 trees as part of a community tree planting initiative funded through a grant from the Partners for Places program.
Saturday’s event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Barrett Brothers Park at the intersection of Goodfellow Boulevard and St. Louis Avenue in north St. Louis.
The event is funded through a $51,000 Partners for Places grant, with $75,000 in matching funds from local funders.
More than 100 native trees of a dozen varieties will be planted by residents together with members of the St. Louis Fire Department. Tools, gloves and refreshments will be provided by Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, which is serving as the City’s lead partner on the grant. In addition to planting, youth will have an opportunity to visit a fire truck and the fire department’s safe house.
“This grant will enable the City to plant 500 trees in four city parks, and those trees will help address stormwater, create wildlife habitat and add tree canopy,” said Catherine Werner, the City’s Director of Sustainability. ”This project was intentionally designed to create social and economic benefits, which we hope will help strengthen the relationship between people in low-income communities and first responders who participate in the community tree planting events.“
Saturday’s tree planting is the second of four planned events. The first, hosted April 14, resulted in 50 trees planted in Minnie Wood Park in Dutchtown. The remaining two events will be held this fall.
The Partners for Places matching grant program is led by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. The funding is being matched by local support from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the William A. Kerr Foundation, and the Commerce Bancshares Foundation. The grant allows the City to expand its urban forestry program resulting in environmental, social and economic benefits.
“These tree planting events present an opportunity for residents and first responders to come together and strengthen relationships as they work together to improve the environment,” said Donna Coble, Executive Director of Forest ReLeaf of Missouri. Coble’s vision is to inspire residents, especially youth, to continue to become stewards of the trees especially during the first year after planting, which is when they are most vulnerable.
About Forest ReLeaf of Missouri
Forest ReLeaf of Missouri is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring volunteer efforts in planning and caring for our trees and forests, particularly those in our cities and towns. The organization’s flagship program, Project CommuniTree, has been reversing the decline of urban and community trees in the region through a variety of tree‐ planting and educational programs since 1993. To date, the organization has distributed over 200,000 trees, and in 2014 they were awarded the national Excellence in Urban Forestry Leadership Award by the Arbor Day Foundation. www.moreleaf.org
About Partners for Places
A joint project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Partners for Places is a successful matching grant program that improves U.S. and Canadian communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects developed through these partnerships to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and well-being for all residents. Through these investments, Partners for Places fosters long-term relationships that make our communities more prosperous, livable and vibrant. For more information, go to fundersnetwork.org/partners-for-places