Friends in the news

FGRP Plants Trees at Dickinson Park

On Saturday, April 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Urban Forest Project will hold a community tree planting event at Dickinson Buffer Park. The event is open to the public with all necessary tools, trees and training provided by Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (FGRP).

The Dickinson Buffer Park event is supported by the US Forest Service through a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative¬†grant. The event is one of several ongoing projects planting trees along the Grand River and its direct tributaries. The project’s goal is to increase the tree canopy near these areas so potentially contaminated stormwater runoff can be better contained.

“Dickinson Buffer Park is next to the Silver Creek drain area, and all of the stormwater [runoff] from this area ends up there with its pollutants and goes directly to the Grand River,” says Lee Muller, Urban Forest Project Coordinator for FGRP. “By planting trees we can help restore some of that area, provide a buffer and a way to capture that stormwater before it becomes problematic.”

Expanding access to green parks by increasing the tree canopy is an efficient investment in parks that have not seen much investment, according to Lee. The event also offers an opportunity for community members to meet and express their visions for the future of the park.

“The park could use some maintenance and we feel that tree planting is a wonderful way to engage with the community, bringing people out and putting neighbors shoulder to shoulder,” says Lee.

The Urban Forest Project is a joint program launched by the FGRP and City of Grand Rapids in an effort to meet the 40% tree canopy goal set by the 2011 Green Grand Rapids amendment to the City’s master plan. The project provides educational opportunities, tree planting events and programs including, an interactive tree map and citizen forestry program.

To register for this event visit the FGRP’s Volunteer Center. For additional information or questions on how you can get involved, contact Lee Mueller.

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