2013 Mayor’s Tree of the Year

On April 19th, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and Mayor George Heartwell celebrated the second Mayor’s Tree of the Year. This celebration seeks to recognize the amazing structural contributions that trees provide to our community. This year, the nomination process was opened up to all Citizens across the City using the Grand Rapids Tree Map  and add a comment stating that he or she was nominating the tree for Mayor’s Tree of the Year.

After reviewing a myriad of nominations from across the City, the Urban Forestry Committee chose a magnificent Burr Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) in Aberdeen Park next to a playground on the City’s Northeast side for the 2013 Mayor’s Tree of the Year. Jesse Lincoln, who nominated the tree stated that “[this tree] is likely several hundred years old and represents an ecosystem that was once common in the area but is no longer” as reasons for his nomination.

During the ceremony, Dotti Clune, Chair of the City’s Urban Forestry Committee commented that “this tree represents the substantial benefits that trees provide to our community. Not only does this tree provide immense benefits in shade and beauty, but it is expected to intercept more than 7,200 gallons of stormwater runoff this year, reduce atmospheric carbon by 1,300 pounds, and improve air quality by intercepting pollutants.” This is especially important considering the recent flooding in Grand Rapids.

“Currently, Grand Rapids is projected to contain a tree canopy level around 2.6.9” said City Forester Tyler Stevenson, “achieving Grand Rapids’ canopy goal will not only require that citizens plant additional trees, but that they also preserve and grow existing trees like this Burr Oak.

A small group of Citizens that attended the recognition ceremony took the opportunity to pose with the tree for pictures, add a price tag to communicate the tree’s benefits, and thank the tree for it’s service to the community. Unfortunately, Mayor Heartwell was unable to attend due to flood emergencies. The Mayor’s Tree of the Year can be viewed in the southwest corner of Aberdeen Park near an adjacent school’s playground.

Local citizens recognize the 2013 Mayor's Tree of the Year.
Local citizens recognize the 2013 Mayor’s Tree of the Year.

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