Help Re-Leaf DuluthResidents in Lincoln Park and the Hillside will soon be outside planting trees alongside volunteers. For the second year, the City of Duluth has launched its Re-Leaf Duluth campaign to help restore the urban forest.
Residents in Lincoln Park and the Hillside will soon be outside planting trees alongside volunteers. For the second year, the City of Duluth has launched its Re-Leaf Duluth campaign to help restore the urban forest. While Duluth does have a number of trees, some neighborhoods and areas tend to have a smaller number than others. There are many benefits, besides decorative, of having trees in a neighborhood. “Urban forests as a whole are beneficial to people,” Minnesota GreenCorps urban forestry specialist Shawna Mullen Eardely told the Budgeteer. “They can reduce energy costs through shade and wind blocking, have positive physiological effects, and increase property values. Trees in general can help with storm water runoff because their root systems keep soil down during storms.”
Volunteers were recently trained on conducting the tree inventory and identification. Volunteers did not need any tree experience, but were asked to attend training. There, they learned how to count trees. The city needs to know the size, species and conditions of already planted trees; figuring out how many trees Duluth has now is the first step in planting more.
After the inventory is complete, Duluth will hold planting parties. Certain neighborhoods in Duluth are eligible for trees, through a Community Development Block Grant.
“Areas that we plant in during the planting parties typically house folks who have lower incomes. There are not a lot of trees on the boulevards,” said Judy Gibbs, a city forester and organizer of past planting parties. “We advertise for volunteers to come and help. But, so far every year, neighbors in the areas we plant in have come out with snacks and water for us and have helped.”
Planting usually takes place near the end of August and goes until early October. Volunteers do not need any experience with planting trees. There are city commissioners on site teaching people how to properly plant trees.
Last year around 75 trees were planted. The number planted this year is expected to be near the same, although the organizers hope to plant several hundred new trees next year.
Homeowners have the option to buy a tree that will be planted for them on their boulevard. Each year, the City will dedicate $5000 towards the cost associated with purchase and planting of trees. The homeowner must agree to pay half the tree’s cost, $25, and to take care of the tree for the first three years of its life.
Interested homeowners can fill out an application online. Autumn Blaze Maple, Northern Pine Oak, American Linden, and more varieties are offered. The application may be found at http://www.duluthmn.gov/parks/re-leaf.