Congratulations to the 2013 TD Green Streets Recipients:
- Burlington, VT
- Casselberry, FL
- Cheltenham Township, PA
- Greenville, SC
- Myrtle Beach, SC
- Newark, NJ
- Salem, MA
- Springfield, MA
- West Palm Beach, FL
- Wilmington, DE
The city of Burlington feels that citizen involvement in the care of the urban forest is the key to its vitality and sustainability. To increase their involvement, the city gave residents a sense of ownership for the trees by having a community tree planting event and multiple opportunities to become involved and trained in tree maintenance. Many partners were involved in the tree planting, education, and maintenance activities, including BOB!, Cedar Street Residents, TD Bank employees, and UVM students, Burlington also worked closely with the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program through the state’s Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation to ensure the educational materials, tree planting and maintenance activities, and training opportunities were conducted appropriately and were consistent with state initiatives.
With the TD Green Streets grant funding, seventeen trees in the Old North End were planted. The trees were sourced locally and were between 2-3" caliper. The ten trees planted on Cedar Street were planted in direct response to a coordinated grassroots effort by the residents of that street to bring trees to their block; the seven remaining trees replaced trees that were lost in the summer of 2012. The tree planting event served as the city Arbor Day celebration, and took place on the last Saturday in April.
Cheltenham Township, PA
The TD Bank Green Streets Grant supported Cheltenham’s long range goals to foster sustainability, promote quality of life, continue to manage storm water concerns, and positively influence environmental change by planting 40 new trees. The neighborhood that received the trees is comprised mainly of a 1,798 unit apartment complex known as Lynnewood Gardens and a small community park. Cheltenham used the grant to increase the tree canopy in those areas, replace storm damaged trees, and provide additional trees to filter storm water in an area that features substantial impervious surfaces and is devoid of built environment infrastructures to manage storm water. In fact, the area does not even have a storm water catch basin, which helps to mitigate storm water by catching it and releasing it slowly at a controlled rate so that downstream areas are not flooded or eroded. Since Cheltenham Township has such a profound relationship with the Tookany/Tacony Frankford watershed, it is especially focused on helping to manage and mitigate storm water flow.
By partnering with Pennsylvania Horticulture Society (PHS), a national expert in community organizing and training for tree plantings, Cheltenham was able to provide its residents and workers with the best training available. Cheltenham relied on PHS to not only train its Public Works Department, residents, and Shade Tree Commission members, but also to help recruit, train, and organize community volunteers.
Greenville’s Green Streets Project combined interactive educational events and programming with the planting of 100 ten foot trees along South Hudson Street in the city’s most poverty-stricken area—the west side.
Greenville’s project engaged some of the city’s youngest residents in collaborative and sustained educational programming that not only taught youth how to plant and care for trees but communicated the broader benefits of trees and the positive impacts an urban tree canopy has on the health of the urban environment. Working in collaboration with the City’s community centers and the Boys and Girls Club of Greenville at the Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Center, children who participated in 2013 summer camps actively learned about trees and the benefits they provide to the Greenville community through activities drawn from two different educational programs—the Urban Naturalist Program and Community Quest. These unique and highly interactive guides provide educators with the tools to introduce students to the natural and built environments and are designed to engage students in the exploration and study of the community just outside their doors. Both programs include background information on trees and the benefits they impart, such as improving air quality and mitigating the urban heat island effect, and, when paired with the Green Streets Project, will gave students valuable insight into how and why the City strives to maintain a sizable urban tree canopy. Once developed and updated, both the Urban Naturalist Teaching Program and Community Quest will be available to educators county-wide via the City’s webpage and through a partnership with the Greenville County School District.
The City of Casselberry used their TD Green Streets grant as part of a multifaceted project under its Green Up Casselberry Program. The project is a collaborative effort that includes multiple educational events and transplanting/planting activities.
- Earth Fest, a large, regional educational event that also serves as a major Arbor Day celebration, drawing thousands of visitors from well beyond the City’s boundaries;
- Wetland Tree Restoration at the Casselberry Greenway Trailhead, a volunteer effort that will plant numerous bald cypress trees to restore natives to this forested wetland;
- Plumosa Oaks Park Restoration, a volunteer effort to clean up the park and ensure its trees are properly mulched
- Founder’s Day Celebration, a fall event which celebrates the history of Casselberry and gives attention to its special azalea and fern business heritage;
- the SR 436/US 17-92 Flyover Tree Preservation and West 17-92 Neighborhoods Streetscape Enhancement ; a novel approach to save numerous large, high value trees that would otherwise be lost due to a major regional transportation project that is due to begin construction within the next year.
The bulk of the trees saved will be planted in the adjacent low to moderate income area west of 17-92 to improve its parks and streets with enhanced tree canopy. In addition, this neighborhood will receive several new bald cypress trees as well as special azalea plantings, honoring Casselberry’s azalea heritage and helping to restore this neighborhood to its prior beauty.
Myrtle Beach, SC
The TD Green Streets Grant helped to enhance Myrtle Beach’s urban forest by providing an opportunity to educate staff and the public about the importance of trees and how to take care of them. This was accomplished using an under-utilized 35-year old neighborhood park that provides connectivity between two low-income neighborhoods that have been separated by an unused railroad line for nearly a century. It is the hope that this community engagement program of planting trees in the park and along the street will create pride and ownership in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Harlem and Carrie Mae Johnson Neighborhood Committee, Sandy Grove Missionary Baptist Church, the Boys and Girls Club, Clemson Extension Service Master Gardener’s Program, and the SC Forestry Commission Urban Forester assisted the City staff in planting the trees. Educational signage about the trees and their proper care including a history of these low-income neighborhoods was placed within the park. Hands-on tree planting and maintenance workshops were provided for staff and the public on the day of the tree planting as well as an opportunity for staff to participate in training such as offered by the Partners in Community Forestry, Clemson Extension Service, Trees SC, SC Forestry Commission, Davey Resource Group, and Bartlett Tree Experts during 2013.
The TD Green Streets helped to accomplish the following:
- Supported a newly established tree farm—Trees planted on these farms reclaim lots that may otherwise become eyesores or community safety problems. They also provide training and employment opportunities for Newark residents.
- Plant street trees in collaboration with a community organization—Residents from the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark were engaged and trained to maintain the new trees along their streets.
- Assist the City of Newark with a city-wide street tree inventory
- Provide ex-offenders with job training and hands-on experience that will enable them to seek employment in the tree care and nursery industries—Greater Newark Conservancy already manages a highly respected prisoner re-entry program, “Clean and Green.” This program includes 13 weeks of intensive on-the-job training on landscaping and urban farming on vacant City lots. The grant will supported an expansion of the program to include tree nursery care, tree planting and tree maintenance.
The project enhances the City of Newark’s Community Forestry Management Program by supporting ongoing tree planting programs in collaboration with the New Jersey Tree Foundation; improving maintenance practices on newly planted trees, thereby making them more cost-effective to maintain in the long run; through species diversification, improve hardiness and aesthetics of Newark’s urban forest.
The City of Salem’s project encompassed the planting of thirteen (13) new street trees in the City’s lowest income, most culturally diverse, and most densely populated neighborhood, referred to as the Point Neighborhood. The goals of the project were to:
- Increase tree cover in a densely populated Environmental Justice Neighborhood
- Improve the skills of all City Staff who plant and maintain trees
- Fight apathy and improve livability of a dense inner city neighborhood
- Increase stewardship for care and maintenance of trees
- Increase community’s understanding of the value and role trees play in improving quality of life
The project was managed and coordinated by the City of Salem Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) and the Department of Public Services (DPS) performed all the pre-planting work and worked with volunteers to plant the trees. Two non-profit organizations; Salem Sound Coastwatch and the North Shore Community Development Coalition (CDC) helped make this project a success. They recruited and coordinated volunteer efforts, organized and coordinated two tree planting seminars, and developed educational material to educate and publicize the value of trees in the City. Additionally, the City and its partners worked closely with Curtis Dragon (Massachusetts Certified Arborist, Massachusetts Certified Horticulturalist, Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, and owner of Earth Landscapes) who facilitated the training seminars, provided technical support throughout the project, and oversaw the planting of all the trees by City DPS and volunteers.
The project also engaged several schools in the area, many of which are residents of the Point Neighborhood. The North Shore CDC’s YouthBuild Program which draws participants from the Salem Community Charter School, an alternative high-school for at-risk youth seeking a high school diploma, were heavily involved. The students attended the Volunteer/Youth Tree Planting Seminar, volunteered at the tree planting event, and after the planting event worked with the North Shore CDC to refill all the gator bags on a weekly basis to ensure that the newly planted trees were watered and cared for. Also, students from the Horace Mann Laboratory School, a public elementary school located at and affiliated with Salem State University, participated at the tree planting event
This project included the establishment of urban orchards in two Springfield neighborhoods, as well as the development of a community-based Tree Steward training program that will provide residents of the City with education and instruction on the care and maintenance of trees, as well as detail the valuable role that trees play in our urban settings. Additionally, specific training and instruction on the establishment and maintenance of urban orchards provided a cadre of trained volunteers to carry out the important stewardship of the newly established orchards.
The City enlisted the assistance of Regreen Springfield, Inc., a community based, non-profit organization, to carry out most of the tasks outlined in this grant proposal. Included in this partnership was the organization of the urban orchard initiative, the recruitment and training of community volunteers, the development of a module-based educational program on urban forestry, a series of training workshops outlining the value, care and maintenance of urban trees, and the public outreach and visibility for these programs.
The City of Springfield asked ReGreen Springfield, Inc. to enhance its current reforestation plans by establishing urban community orchards in two city neighborhoods. ReGreen Springfield, Inc. is further proposing the development of a community-based Tree Stewardship program that will train city residents on proper tree care and detail the valuable role that trees play in our cities.
All involved in the project recognize and are committed to support the efforts necessary to rebuild the region’s ecological and cultural landscapes continue, and will take many years and a lot of help.
West Palm Beach, FL
This grant will enhance the City of West Palm Beach’s forestry program by increasing the tree canopy in a residential neighborhood close to the City’s urban downtown. The City and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency ("CRA") worked together to create a pilot streetscape project in the Northwest neighborhood. The Northwest neighborhood, a historic neighborhood, is the City’s oldest, African-American neighborhood. Blighted, boarded-up buildings and nuisance uses have plagued this intersection for years. Typically, through community meetings, City elected officials and staff have been told by the neighborhood that they do not want shade trees planted in the neighborhood because of the perception that "drug dealers hang out under the trees". City and CRA staff worked very closely with community leaders and the police department to agree to a pilot program to plant shade trees on a prominent residential street block.
The proposed streetscape project includes native Live Oak shade tree plantings on both sides of the street in the pilot block. Bulb-outs at the street corners will feature bio-swale areas and additional shrubs. The sidewalks will be moved adjacent to the street paving and on-street parking to allow a larger planting/swale area adjacent to private property to provide a better growing area for the roots of the trees.
The Police Athletic League is on this intersection and provides after school and recreational programs for at-risk children in the neighborhood. The Salvation Army also provides after-school and community services in the neighborhood and is approximately four blocks away from this project. Both of these organizations currently have gardens that were created by the children in the program and continue to be maintained by the children. These are just two of the partner organizations that will participate in the community outreach and involvement by utilizing the children to develop educational and promotional materials and assist in educating their parents and other community members about the importance of trees in the community and the environment.
Wilmington’s Community Forestry Program has made great strides in recent years and has demonstrated a commitment to urban trees as green infrastructure. The City of Wilmington used its funding from TD Green Streets to continue their efforts in 2013 and to recruit residents to volunteer as community Tree Stewards in the low to moderate income areas of the City.
The goal of this program was to build an organized network of citizens to champion an increase in tree canopy, as well as care for existing trees. This happened through greater neighborhood coordination of tree planting and care, centralization of new tree requests, and by educating citizens on the benefits of trees and resources available.
The City and The Delaware Center for Horticulture (The DCH) also used this opportunity to provide job skills training to low income residents. For the past 3 years The DCH has offered a Return-to-Work Horticultural Skills Training Program for ex-offenders in work release or on probation. The participants are paid a modest hourly wage, so cannot be considered volunteers. Their 7-week training includes horticulture, soft skills, job readiness and on-the-job field work, and planting hundreds of trees throughout Delaware’s cities and towns in the public rights-of-way and other community locations. The crew worked with Tree Stewards and other volunteers on community tree planting days, such as the NeighborWoods celebration. By the end of 2013, six Return-to-Work crew members will know how to plant and care for trees and will have gained valuable job skills and improved the City’s environment. The DCH will work with crew members to incorporate this experience into their resumes, and use their contacts to assist them in finding future employment in the field.