Mayor’s Greening Initiative


ATTN neighbors:

The health and safety of our volunteers and staff is of utmost importance. We have rescheduled the 2020 Mayor’s Greening Initiative to take place in October (previously scheduled in April). We will share specific COVID-related safety plans here soon, but in the meantime, we encourage you to sign-up to volunteer!

Read more about Friends’ COVID-19 response here.


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schedule of events

Working alongside the Garfield Park Neighborhoods Association, the fifth annual Mayor’s Greening Initiative will be in the Garfield Park area!

Each year, we give away 100 five gallon trees to Grand Rapids residents with help from our sponsor, Bartlett Tree Experts and are available on a first come, first serve basis so get there early! The 2020 Tree Giveaway was held on May 30 and was a great success! We’re looking forward to next year!

Sign up to help either plant trees, check-in volunteers, or assist with refreshments. There is a job for everyone!

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.  Groups will work collaboratively with other volunteers and there will always be a tree expert in the area who will be able to answer any questions. We also have jobs such as registration, food service, moving mulch, clean-up and more. Read description on the registration form here.


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 for details.

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


in-kind sponsors

boxed water