This month, the
Minneapolis Parks Foundation
is working to raise funds to plant 400 trees throughout four neighborhoods of North Minneapolis, trees that were lost when a tornado hit last year.
The tornado took out a huge portion of urban forest when it “tore across several miles of Minneapolis, tearing roofs off homes, tumbling cars down the streets, and ripping 40-foot trees from the earth like weeds from a flowerbed,” foundation materials read.
Mary deLaittre, who leads the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, explains that the urban forest is important for many reasons. “Not only is it beautiful, but it does things like lower blood pressure, clean the air and water, provide shade in the summer,” she says, adding, “It’s critical that we replace the urban forest as quickly as possible so we can get these wonderful workhorses back to doing their job.”
Most of the trees the foundation funds will probably go into the city’s Jordan neighborhood, she says.
The foundation’s effort is part of the larger “Northside Treecovery Program,” which the city’s park and recreation board
is spearheading along with several other partners.
The park system also has a forestry department that pays attention to the urban forest on an ongoing basis, she explains.
So far, the foundation has raised money to plant 100 trees. Each one costs $120. “We’d like to raise money for the others between now and the one-year anniversary of the tornado near the end of May,” she says.
The effort coincides with the state’s Arbor Month activities, as well, according to foundation information.
All in all, “We’re really looking at this program as creating the next generation of urban forest, deLaittre says.
Source: Mary deLaittre, Minneapolis Parks Foundation executive director
Writer: Anna Pratt