Reinvestment Act Project to plant 700 trees and create jobs in Detroit

By Tom Greenwood
Detroit, MI (December 7, 2010)- Thanks to $200,000 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more than 700 trees will be planted along major roads and freeways in southeastern Michigan. The plantings will be done under a partnership of the nonprofit group The Greening of Detroit, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Energy, the U.S. Forestry Service and the Michigan Department of Transportation.


The project began this fall with the planting of 344 shade and ornamental trees on Woodward, Telegraph, Puritan, Grand River and Vernier. Another 356 trees will be planted next year at sites including Interstate 94, I-75 and U.S. 23.
“We are excited to partner with the Forest Service, The Greening of Detroit and MDOT to provide economic development through tree plantings in southeast Michigan,” said Kevin Sayers, of the DNRE’s Urban and Community Forestry program, in a statement.
Officials hope the tree plantings will create jobs and help offset the loss of thousands of ash trees killed by infestation of the emerald ash borer. In addition to reforesting some of metro-Detroit’s busiest thoroughfares, this project also serves as an important learning opportunity for trainees in The Greening of Detroit’s workforce Development Program. Through this project, 17 planting specialists were trained and employed. The majority of the trees planted were sourced locally from Michigan nurseries providing another boost to the local economy.
“This project is an example of an efficient use of Reinvestment Act Funds,” added Rebecca Salminen Witt, president of The Greening of Detroit. “By forming a partnership between state and federal agencies, and a non-profit organization, we have been able to create a project that maximizes benefits to southeast Michigan’s environment while preparing a new workforce for entry into the green industry.”
The trees are 8 to 14 feet tall and include red oaks, silver lindens, tulip trees, elms, European Hornbeam, flowering pear, flowering crabapples, paper bark maples, ginkgo, sweet gum, white oak and a variety of evergreens. Greening of Detroit is looking for volunteers to help plant trees around Detroit during fall’s last couple of weeks. To volunteer, contact Justin Wojciak at volunteer@greeningofdetroit.com or at (313) 237-8733 ext. 242. The tree-planting program is expected to be wrapped up by Sept. 1, 2011.
Related Resources:
The Detroit News- Project to plant 700 trees along Metro Detroit roads
Reinvestment Act Funding Enhances Roadways and Creates Jobs through Tree Planting in Southeast Michigan
The Greening of Detroit