Grand Rapids planting trees for Arbor Day

Posted at 6:46 PM, Apr 28, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS -- Dozens of trees are ready to be planted in the neighborhood surrounding Mulick Park on Grand Rapids' southeast side in celebration of Arbor Day.

"Can't have enough," said Cathryn Clark, a resident who recently moved to Grand Rapids from Colorado. "Trees just enhance every neighborhood and make the value go up, make it look beautiful. Love it. Just thrilled to death that Grand Rapids is doing this."

The trees will be planted starting at noon tomorrow. Friends of Grand Rapids Parks says this will be one of the largest volunteer tree planting projects the city has ever done, and the volunteers will come from a variety of areas.

"The neighborhoods -- we have parents coming from the schools, we have people coming from different groups," said Margaret Studer - Urban Forest Project Director with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks. "Coca Cola is bringing a large group of people, they are a sponsor of this event, too. And they will be giving away rain barrels to the first 90 people who sign up."

Studer says trees do more than just beautify an area, they're also an asset to the environment by cleaning the air and helping to manage storm water. One goal of tomorrow's tree planting is to increase Grand Rapids' tree canopy.

"Right now the city overall has about a 34 percent tree canopy," said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. "So our goal as a city is to get to that 40% tree canopy which is a benchmark, a best practice...especially in a densely populated city."

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is planning to do about a dozen more events like this one through the spring to help reach that 40% canopy goal.