Mayor’s Greening Initiative

the mayor’s greening initiative

The 2020 Mayor’s Greening Initiative will add 400 trees to the Garfield Park neighborhood in just one weekend! This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 10, with multiple ways for volunteers to safely be involved.

In order to keep our volunteers and community healthy, the project will look a litter different than in past years. We will offer multiple “shifts”, each with a limit to the number of volunteers. We’ll also adjust how we distribute tools to ensure that they are sanitized, and how site leaders engage and instruct volunteers in how to plant a tree.

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volunteer info

Never planted a tree before?  No problem!  Our team will give you step by step instructions on how to plant a tree as well as provide all the tools and equipment you will need. There will always be a tree expert in the area who will be able to answer any questions.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Tree Planting: Plant trees in Garfield Park or surrounding neighborhood (great way to keep families and group volunteers together!)
  • Clean-Up: Clear registration area, put away tools/supplies, and assist FGRP staff.
  • Site Leader: Help lead a group of volunteers in planting trees during MGI event. Training required.

Volunteer Shifts

  • 9-11 a.m.
  • 12-2 p.m.
  • 3-5 p.m.


history of the mayor’s greening initiative

The Mayor’s Greening Initiative is a partnership with the Mayor’s office, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, and the City’s Forestry Department as a way to engage the entire community in reaching our city’s 40 percent tree canopy goal.

Together, since 2016, we have:
–        Planted over 1,800 trees in the city of Grand Rapids
–        Brought together 2,200 volunteers
–        Gave away 1,600 saplings to elementary school children to ignite their passion for nature

However, our work is not done.  In 2017 we had to remove 1,500 dead, dying, or diseased trees that were a dangerous hazard to our community. You can find more information about this project here.  While removing these trees was a necessity for the safety of the community, it does leave a gap in our City’s tree canopy.

Through the Mayor’s Greening Initiative, the City’s tree planting efforts, and other Friends of Grand Rapids Parks tree plantings, we are steadily making strides towards the City’s tree canopy goal of 40%. We hope we can count on your partnership and support for the Mayor’s Greening Initiative as well as for future opportunities to help us reach our canopy goal.

Why plant trees? Click here to find out the benefits of urban trees. From cleaner air and cooler pavement to economic growth, trees can bring many different benefits to a community.



Sponsorship opportunities are still available. If you would like to know more about being a sponsor please contact stephanie@friendsofgrparks.org for details.

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors for helping to make the Mayor’s Greening Initiative happen!


in-kind sponsors

boxed water