The Arbor Day Foundation has given the city its first “Tree City USA Growth Award” in recognition of the advancements the city has made in managing and promoting its urban tree canopy.
The city, which also earned its 13th annual Tree City USA designation, has set a goal of increasing the city's “tree canopy” to 40 percent of the city's land area.
To celebrate the achievement, local tree lovers will plant more than 50 seedlings at Garfield Park on Arbor Day, April 29. Several of the trees and seedlings will be temporarily planted at the park's first urban volunteer tree nursery.
“We commend Grand Rapids' elected officials, volunteers and its citizens for providing vital care for its urban forest,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation.
“Trees provide numerous environmental, economic and health benefits to millions of people each day and we applaud communities that makes planting and caring for trees a top priority.”