Michigan Arbor Day Alliance awards six tree planting grants, made possible by Consumers Energy, ITC, and Lansing Board of Water and Light

The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance (MADA) Tree Planting Grants are available to local units of government, public educational institutions, public libraries, non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, churches and tribal governments. Tree planting sites include cities and towns, school yards and conservation areas such as stream bank stabilization and habitat restoration. The grant application is made available in early February, with applications due at the end of April. Applicants were notified in May of their award status. All of the planting projects will be completed by the end of the year.

This year, MADA received 20 applications from cities, villages, conservation districts, neighborhood associations, non-profits, and schools from all across the state. After careful consideration, we selected the following grant recipients: City of Beverly Hills, Kalkaska Conservation District, Hope College, Court Street Village (Flint, MI), Charter Township of Calumet, and the Village of Middleville. A total of 73 trees will be planted across all of these communities.

These tree planting grants will provide the funding for the trees and in turn, improve the lives of residents. We believe trees play a vital role in community health and well being. Trees are an investment in the health of our people, wildlife and the environment. They provide shade, beautify the landscape, clean the air and water, lower energy costs, increase property values, mitigate flooding, and so much more. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to offer these grants and hope to increase funding in the future to be able to award more grants.

Our generous sponsors, Consumers Energy, ITC and Lansing Board of Water and Light  have made this grant program possible. We appreciate their continued support of Michigan Arbor Day Alliance’s programs.

Descriptions of the six planting projects happening across the state of Michigan:

Charter Township of Calumet: This project will install six sugar maple trees at a prominent intersection and vacant lot in Calumet Township. The planting site is located on Red Jacket Road, an historic route and contributing resource within Keweenaw National Historical Park. This project will replace missing historic trees in the right of way according to the preferred treatment plan in the park’s cultural landscape report. Installation of trees will help define the historic route, the adjacent vacant lot, provide shade and comfort to pedestrians and improve the community canopy cover. This partnership between Calumet Township and Keweenaw National Historical Park is an important step to help a small rural community recognize the value of street tree planting for the benefit of residents and visitors. Anticipated project start date: May 2019;  Grant award: $1,200.

Kalkaska Conservation District: The Kalkaska Conservation District will partner with the Kalkaska Public Schools to plant 17 trees on school property. Placement of trees will be strategic to act as a wind break and visual break to slow down traffic on school grounds. Trees will be planted in Fall 2019 by District staff, school staff, and middle and high school students. Anticipated project start date: June 5, 2019; Grant award: $2,000

Court Street Village: Due to severe budgetary constraints in the city of Flint, there is no current funding to replace lost street trees in core neighborhoods. The Central Park Neighborhood is an historic residential neighborhood of 18 blocks and approximately 500 households adjacent to downtown and the Flint Cultural Center. Flint currently has an existing canopy of street trees, but many are reaching the end of their lives due to damage or pests. Volunteers from the neighborhood association completed a street tree inventory last spring of missing street trees and identified 14 potential sites for re-planting. Court Street Village will replace seven of these trees this year, and the additional seven in the next year or two. They chose sites with high visibility on the busier streets surrounding the neighborhood, and then prioritized sites that were close to each other both for impact and ease of maintenance. Replacing these street trees will enhance residents’ quality of life and stabilize property values in an important core neighborhood in Flint. Anticipated project start date: September 15, 2019; Grant award: $1,500

Village of Beverly Hills: Beverly Park is a staple of Beverly Hills, stretching 34 acres through the middle of the Village. The park is currently undergoing an invasive species eradication and woodland reforestation project. Beverly Park was overwhelmed by buckthorn, which is in the process of being completely cleared out. This leaves vast space available for planting new, native species. The Parks and Recreation Board and Village staff are actively working to secure funding for the reforestation efforts. The public services team and volunteers will periodically plant new trees over the next two years. This year, the Village will plant five new trees in the park. Anticipated project start date: October 1, 2019. Grant award: $1,000

Village of Middleville: In 2016 a new section of the Paul Henry- Thornapple Trail was constructed. A new trail head and parking lot was then completed on Crane Road. During construction, the area was leveled and cleared of brush leaving an open, sunny section between the trail and drive into the new parking lot. In this area, the Village plans to plant three native Sugar maple trees. In addition, two large evergreen trees in the Middleville Downtown parks are failing and will be replaced with concolor fir trees. Anticipated project state date: September 2019; Grant award: $1,000

Hope College: Hope College is committed to increasing their urban tree canopy cover. With MADA’s support, Hope College will be able to increase their tree plantings (33 new trees) for 2019 and help reduce their carbon footprint, improve air quality, and beatify the campus for all to enjoy for years to come. As part of the college’s commitment to increasing urban tree canopy, Hope College has received “Tree Campus USA” certification. Anticipated project start date: June 1, 2019; Grant award: $2,000

Proud sponsors of this program:

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For more information about the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance program, please visit https://www.miarbordayalliance.org/home.html

The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance (MADA) is a coalition of organizations and agencies dedicated to the promotion and celebration of Arbor Day throughout Michigan. Our dedication comes from our belief in the importance of trees and their role in community health and well-being.

MADA is a program of the Eaton Conservation District in Charlotte, MI.

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