Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is a nonprofit with the goal of making Grand Rapids the healthiest, most shade and park equitable city in America. In an effort to make this goal a reality several groups and individuals have come together for an event called “Neighborwoods” and are looking for 200 volunteers and community members to plant 200 trees (and give away 50 more).
The Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, the Southtown Neighborhood Community, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and The City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Forestry Department are the major players in this initiative, along with supportive members of the community, like Kris Spaulding, whose love for trees is reflected in the name of the business she operates; Broad Leaf Brewery and Spirits.
“My family has been planting trees with Friends (of Grand Rapids Parks) for around 10 years through our business and through the community tree planting events. We look forward to the plantings each year as a way to get out into different neighborhoods in town and help to beautify our community,” said Spaulding, who is President/Owner of Broad Leaf Brewery and Spirits and Brewery Vivant.
The City of Grand Rapids and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks have set a goal to fill 10,000 of Grand Rapids’ roughly 30,000 tree vacancies and grow the urban tree canopy to 40% throughout the City.
“I love that we have a tree canopy goal of 40% – trees are so important in creating a vibrant atmosphere, cleaning the air we breathe and reducing utility bills for our residents,” said Spaulding.
The event will take place in three shifts over two days. Mayor Bliss will kick off the first event prior to the planting which takes place Friday, Sept. 30, 1 – 4 p.m. Additional tree planting takes place Saturday, Oct. 1, 9 a.m. – noon and 1 – 4 p.m. All shifts start at the Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Ave. SE, in Grand Rapids.
More information on how to get involved can be found here.