What’s your favorite tree in Grand Rapids? Make nomination for mayor’s award, win $150

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Happy Arbor Day!

To promote trees, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks again will choose a Mayor’s Tree of the Year. But first, nominations are needed.

Starting May 1, you can nominate a tree via the online tree map here. Find your favorite tree – or add a new one to the map – and add a comment nominating it for 2014 Mayor’s Tree of the Year, along with an explanation of what makes the tree special.

A $150 Merrell gift card donated by Wolverine World Wide goes to the person who nominates the winning tree.

“This is a great opportunity to get outside, look at some trees and experience some of what Grand Rapids has to offer,” said Dotti Clune, chairwoman of the city’s urban forestry committee. “We really enjoy pouring over the nominations, hearing people’s stories and selecting a tree that we feel is particularly special.”

Perhaps there’s a big, old oak or towering maple that you just love. Or maybe you’ll pick one of the 479 new trees that Friends of Grand Rapids Parks says it planted last year.

The nonprofit parks advocacy group also will plant trees Friday, April 25, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, in partnership with the Association of Grand Rapids Landscape Professionals, and 9 a.m. Saturday, April 26, at Roosevelt Park, 1368 Godfrey Ave. SW.

Volunteers are needed for Saturday’s planting.

See the inaugural Mayor’s Tree of the Year in 2012
See the 2013 Mayor’s Tree of the Year

Grand Rapids set a goal of increasing the tree canopy to cover 40 percent of the city. A proposed streets tax on the May 6 ballot calls for the addition of trees in road right-of-ways. But plantings in city parks and on private property will be needed to reach the goal, parks advocates say.

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