Gifts under the tree? The trees ARE the gift to Indy

Indianapolis, IN (December 21, 2007)- $200,000 in federal funding has been approved for tree planting in Indianapolis as part of the FY2008 omnibus appropriations bill signed into law by President George W. Bush yesterday. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB), the City of Indianapolis, and Hoosier Heartland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. (RC&D) will work in partnership to plant approximately 2,000 trees in Marion County with this federal funding, secured by U.S. Senator Lugar, U.S. Senator Bayh, and the late U.S. Representative Carson.

“The value of services provided by these trees over the years will far outweigh this single investment in 2008,” says David Forsell, president of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. “At maturity, over the years, these trees will provide millions of dollars in energy savings, carbon storage, and stormwater retention. Trees are an investment that keep on giving.”
In addition to the environmental benefits, research indicates that trees also contribute to the physical and psychological health of people and communities. Trees and green spaces in cities have been linked to lower crime, improved physical and mental health in children and adults, and enhanced social interactions in neighborhoods. And yes, money does grow on trees. One properly placed shade tree can save a homeowner up to $250 per year in energy savings. Trees increase property values, and attract more customers to businesses.
This federal funding comes at a crucial time for improving the environmental health of our city. According to IUPUI research, between 1962 and 1993, Indianapolis lost 25% of its tree cover. And, amongst all trees we’re losing, those designated as “high quality” forests are disappearing at the rate of 30 acres per year, according to Indy Parks Land Stewardship research. American Forests, a national non-profit leader in urban forestry issues, recommends a 40% canopy cover for cities; the local canopy cover in Indianapolis is 24%.
The funding for the 2,000 trees will give a boost to the NeighborWoods program, a partnership with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. and the City of Indianapolis to plant 100,000 trees in Indianapolis; and Hoosier Heartland’s Plant a Million project to plant a million or more mostly native trees in the ten county RC & D area over the next 10 years.
Related Resources:
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
Hoosier Heartland Resource Conservation and Development Council