October is National NeighborWoods Month – It’s time to celebrate trees!

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, with the help of the City of Grand Rapids and community partners, will celebrate NeighborWoods Month with tree plantings throughout our community.

These events are part of several hundred re-greening efforts throughout the country being promoted during October, which has been declared National NeighborhWoods Month by the national nonprofit, the Alliance for Community Trees (ACT). Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is a member of ACT’s NeighborWoods Network.

“This year, we’re excited that several of our planting events were neighborhood-initiated,” said Steve Faber, Executive Director. “This means that community volunteers have recognized the need for trees and have approached Friends to help them organize a tree planting. It takes a community to grow a healthy urban forest.”  Last year, FGRP hosted 9 events and planted 182 trees. These included a tree climbing demonstration and tree plantings at Richmond Park, Martin Luther King Park, Congress Elementary, and Riverside Park.

NeighborWoods Month kicks off with a tree planting at Grand Rapids newest park, Pleasant Park, 400 Pleasant SE from 4:30-7:30pm.  Volunteers will plant 37 trees that were funded through sponsorships and donations to Friends of Grand Rapids Parks’ “tree bank”.  Citizen Foresters that have completed a series of workshops through the Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project will be on hand to help with the planting.

Numerous studies have recently highlighted the benefit of community-sponsored tree plantings. A Yale University study in 2013 highlighted that trees have higher survival rates and tend to grow and establish more quickly when planted by community volunteers (1). Moreover, a growing body of research is connecting trees and tree planting to human health, well-being, and community cohesion (2).

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks has numerous October tree plantings in which you can get involved:


October 7th at Pleasant Park 4:30p – 7:00p 37 trees

October 11th at Butterworth SW and Straight SW 9:00a – 12:00p 15 trees

October 14th at Crescent NE and Alfred NE 4:30p – 7:00p  6 trees

October 14th at Charles SE and Sherman SE 4:30p – 7:00p  6 trees

October 25th at Riverside Park 9:00a – 12:00p 30 trees

October 29th at Lincoln Park 4:30p – 7:30p 15 trees


For all planting events, Friends of GR parks provides the tools, trees, and training. Community volunteers provide the muscle. The planting portion of the event will take place rain-or-shine, so volunteers are encouraged to dress for the weather. You are also encouraged to bring your own bottle of water, a small snack, and work gloves. Those interested in volunteering can find out more at www.friendsofgrparks.org/events.

This project is supported in part by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.


National NeighborWoodsTM Month is the annual October celebration of trees in our communities, and is part of the national NeighborWoodsTMinitiative to re-green North American cities from coast to coast.  NeighborWoodsTM is a program of Alliance for Community Trees, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving the health and livability of cities by planting and caring for trees.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is a citizen driven nonprofit with the mission to protect, enhance, and expand parks and public spaces.  In 2011, we founded the Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project, in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids and support from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, to work toward engaging our community to achieve a 40% tree canopy in the city.   View full calendars and additional event details at www.friendsofgrparks.org/events andwww.urbanforestproject.com


  1. http://actrees.org/news/trees-in-the-news/research/stewardship-success-how-community-group-dynamics-affect-urban-street-tree-survival-and-growth/

  2. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/22_benefits_208084_7.pdf


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