Volunteers to plant 50 trees in local Grand Rapids’ parks thanks to Siemens Sustainable Community Award – Alliance for Community Trees Newsletter

Grand Rapids, MI (October 29, 2010)- Last May the City of Grand Rapids was presented the Siemens Sustainable Community Award for mid-size communities by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and Siemens Corporation. The winning communities were praised for improvements to the quality of life for residents by achieving vital economic, environmental, and social goals.

It was also announced during the awards ceremony that all three winning communities would each receive a number of trees for planting throughout their community. On October 29th and 30th, volunteers will help plant 50 trees in Fuller/Hillcrest Park and at the Grand Rapids Bike Park, made possible through support from Siemens.

Grand Rapids’ urban forest offers significant economic, environmental and quality of life benefits to our community. A canopy of 85,000 to 100,000 public trees beautifies our parks, streets, and neighborhoods. Trees also enhance property values, reduce storm water runoff, remove pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air, and save energy costs.

A recent sample street tree inventory conducted by the City of Grand Rapids’ revealed that each $1 invested in trees returns $3.60 in annual benefit. With a present canopy cover of 34.6% (2009), Grand Rapids is well within reach of the 40% canopy target recommended by American Forests. This volunteer tree planting builds awareness about issues impacting our urban forest and moves our community toward our goal and a more sustainable city.

The trees were made possible through a grant from the Siemens Corporation to the City of Grand Rapids. The tree planting is part of National NeighborWoods Month and the organizing partnership of Alliance for Community Trees (ACT), Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (a local ACT affiliate), Global ReLeaf of Michigan (an ACT state affiliate) and the City of Grand Rapids. In addition to neighborhood volunteers, employees of Siemens, Home Depot’s Team Depot of Walker and Grandville Stores, Bartlett Tree Expert Co. of Grand Rapids, Lawrence Arbor Care of Ann Arbor and BDO Seidman will help with the planting. National NeighborWoods Month is sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation.

Related Resources:

Siemens Sustainable Community Awards
Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
Global ReLeaf of Michigan

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