Plan to Reforest Indianapolis Branches Out Nationally

Sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation
Indianapolis, Ind. (October 12, 2007)- Keep Indianapolis Beautiful has a plan to reforest Indianapolis with 100,000 trees in 10 years. It’s called NeighborWoods. Mayor Peterson and Senator Lugar have both embraced the plan and signed on as co-chairs. NeighborWoods was developed with the aim of increasing the tree canopy in Indianapolis while increasing the number of people invested in their neighborhoods. The idea is that more people will care about trees if they understand their value and benefits. Together, working with neighborhoods throughout Indianapolis, more than 5,000 trees have been planted since the inception of the local NeighborWoods program.


The reforestation plan will focus on six “hot spots” where most or all of the following criteria were identified: lack of tree canopy, impervious surfaces residential zoning, storm water run-off, proximity to industry, air quality, high rates of asthma, higher than average crime rate, and lower than average income. Research demonstrates a clear correlation between tree cover and higher income, cleaner air and water, better business climate, increased property values, and reduced crime and incivility.
There is a growing need for trees. Indianapolis has lost nearly 25% of its trees in the past few decades. A central Indiana land use model forecasts that between 2000 and 2040, 1,167 square miles of land in central Indiana will be urbanized, more than double the amount of land urbanized from settlement to 2000. The Indianapolis Star has highlighted significant problems in our air quality, including the 8th worst U.S. urban area for airborne particulate matter. And combined sewers are a challenge to local streams as is stormwater runoff.
“NeighborWoods, our partnership with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to plant 100,000 trees in the next ten years, will pay dividends for years and years to come,” says Peterson. “These beautiful trees clean our air and water, add beauty to our parks, neighborhoods and streets, and demonstrate local government’s commitment to our local environment.”
During October, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful will plant 430 trees and host at least two plantings each weekend. On October 13, they will coordinate neighborhood plantings in Barton Park, St. Joseph, and Damien HIV-AIDS Community Center. From 11:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the following will be available to the media: Mayor Bart Peterson, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful President David Forsell, Alliance for Community Trees Executive Director Alice Ewen Walker, Director of Indy Parks Joseph Wynns, City Forester Lindsay Purcell, Economic Development Coordinator of Near North Development Corporation Chris Barnett, and Community Volunteers.
The planting is one of 11 projects taking place locally to celebrate National NeighborWoods Month. These events are some of more than 200 regreening, educational, and training efforts throughout the country being promoted during October. NeighborWoods Month is a national campaign of the Alliance for Community Trees (ACT) and sponsored by the Home Depot Foundation. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is a member of ACT’s NeighborWoods Network.
NeighborWoods Month is sponsored through a generous grant from The Home Depot Foundation. “National NeighborWoods Month offers a unique opportunity for people to understand the contributions of trees to the health, beauty and livability of their communities,” said Kelly Caffarelli, Vice President of The Home Depot Foundation. “By partnering with ACT and local NeighborWoods organizations like Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, The Foundation is able to further its goals of investing in the overall health and success of our communities.”
More information at: http://calendar.neighborwoodsmonth.org and www.kibi.org
For Immediate Release Contact:
David Forsell
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
317-223-5180
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Download Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s NeighborWoods press release.