Indianapolis Launches 10 Year NeighborWoods Campaign

ACT member group Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) launched an ambitious ten year, $14 million campaign to plant 100,000 trees in the city’s most under-forested neighborhoods. Alongside Mayor Bart Peterson, KIB’s President David Forsell announced $400,000 in support donated by Indianapolis Power & Light Company and Veolia Water Indianapolis that kick starts the campaign. “We face a huge gap between our generous lead gifts and what NeighborWoods will require, but just ten years ago, KIB wasn’t in the tree planting business,” said Forsell.

Based on satellite analysis of the city’s tree canopy, KIB worked with a local university to identify neighborhoods that had the least tree canopy and greatest opportunity for community revitalization. Researchers from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis identified “hot spots” that had lower-than-average tree canopy and household income, and higher-than-average traffic counts and crime rates. Every plantable space on public and private land is a potential target for reforestation. KIB will work with property owners to plant the best size and variety of tree for each site.
KIB will use computer modeling to measure the environmental benefits of trees that are planted in these neighborhoods, and will work with public safety experts and researchers over time to measure the relationship between the greening of neighborhoods, volunteer engagement and localized crime statistics.
Read the full Keep Indianapolis Beautiful NeighborWoods press release (PDF).
Community Tree Planting Model and Factsheet (PDF). The model and factsheet shows the hot spots and priority areas where trees are needed most. It was created with and by university researchers in Indianapolis.
Read the April 30, 2006 Indianapolis Star segment titled Focus on Urban Forestry or see the following links:

More trees, please
Planting 100,000 trees will improve quality of life. Trees are evidence of a city’s vitality. They bring cleaner air and water, improve health, increase property values, reduce crime and generally enhance our quality of life.
Restoring tree canopy brings big benefits
A few years ago, neighborhood leader Evelyn Mason asked Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. to help her plant trees on the nearly abandoned intersections of Boulevard Place at 40th and 42nd streets.
Why urban forest is priority
Like other Indianapolis neighborhoods, Holy Cross fought its way back from a period of economic decline. Now unique new homes sit alongside jewels from our city’s past. As Holy Cross residents envision our future, creating an urban forest has become a priority.
Time to reverse decline
Urban trees and forests are community assets that provide many benefits, from social to economic to environmental. They make cities and towns better places to live, work and play.
Reforestation made biggest impact
As a resident of the Old Northside for almost 30 years, I look back at the accomplishments of our neighborhood association: the Shawn Grove Children’s Park, the Victorian Walking Park and the Frank and Judy O’Bannon Soccer Park that we have built, the streetlights placed throughout the neighborhood, the artwork on Central Avenue.
Trees will strengthen neighborhood fabric (My View: Alice Ewen Walker, May 3, 2006).
We couldn’t be more delighted that Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is launching Indiana’s first NeighborWoods program. Across the country, volunteers are planting trees to heal the environment and revitalize communities. NeighborWoods network member organizations like KIB have organized 450,000 volunteers to plant 8 million trees in cities across America.