Indiana Tree Advocate

Washington, DC (September 20, 2007)- As a tree farmer and honorary co-chair of NeighborWoods Indianapolis, Senator Richard Lugar understands that trees play a major role in creating healthy and sustainable communities. Trees sequester carbon, clean the air, contribute to efficient stormwater management, and deliver energy savings and higher property values. Moreover, research demonstrates a clear correlation between tree cover and income; the lower the income, the less tree cover. It is these neighborhoods that may have the most to gain by planting trees.

As co-chair of NeighborWoods Indianapolis, the Senator helps to promote awareness of the need and benefit of trees, as well as support for the tree program. NeighborWoods, a bold initiative to plant 100,000 trees over 10 years, was developed with the aim of increasing the tree canopy in Indianapolis while increasing the number of people invested in their neighborhoods.
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 highlighted significant problems in our air quality, including the 8th worst U.S. urban area for airborne particulate matter. Combined sewers are a challenge to our local streams as is stormwater runoff.
Senator Lugar also understands that creating healthy and sustainable communities is not a partisan issue. Joining him as co-chair of NeighborWoods Indianapolis is Mayor Bart Peterson, a Democrat. And Senators Lugar and Bayh came together recently to pass an Interior Appropriations bill. It is uncertain when the bill will be considered by the full Senate. Congresswoman Julia Carson (D-7th) also requested similar funding in the House of Representatives.
About Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB)
KIB was founded in 1976 to combat the city’s litter problems. In addition to ongoing litter abatement programs, KIB works at the grassroots level with a diversity of people and neighborhoods on community improvement projects including environmental education for the public and for schools, voluntary recycling programs, litter abatement, revitalization and beautification, developing pocket parks and greenspace, and tree planting. Annually, KIB motivates 30,000 volunteers on nearly 500 community improvement projects.
Related Resources:
NeighborWoods Video featuring Senator Lugar
Letter of Support for NeighborWoods
Lugar Energy Initiative
NeighborWoods Launch Proclamation
Senate Interior Appropriations
Indy Star
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful