The MCW Partnership Celebrates its 10th Annual Tree Planting at the CEPRO Site

Jim Campbell thanks Arbor Day volunteers.

The Midtown Community Works Partnership celebrated its 10th annual Arbor Day tree planting event on a sunny spring day with over 80 dedicated volunteers. This year's event was at the CEPRO site, the former home to the last grain elevator along the Midtown Greenway, whose relocation allowed trail construction to begin. The Greenway entrance ramp was constructed at the CEPRO site in 2007, creating the green space for this year's Arbor Day planting event.

The ceremonial first tree, planted by Jim Campbell, former CEO of Wells Fargo, Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Commissioner Gail Dorfman, Council Member Robert Lilligren, Shirley Heyer of the Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association, Carolyn Roby from Wells Fargo andNorm Champ from Tree Trust.

Commissioner Peter McLaughlin led the event kickoff and welcomed special guest Jim Campbell, the former CEO of Wells Fargo and former chair of the MCW Partnership.  Remarks were also made by Commissioner Gail Dorfman, Council Member Robert Lilligren, Wells Fargo’s Carolyn Roby, Midtown Greenway Coalition Board Member Fleur Higginbotham and Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association Board Member Shirley Heyer and Norm Champ, the interim President of Tree Trust. 

It takes a team: volunteers from Ryan Companies get a tree ready to plant.

The CEPRO site plan was designed by Close Landscape Architecture in conjunction with community planning process over the last year.  The design features plantings, public art, and recreational features that can serve people with physical disabilities.  The MCW planting is the first part of the site plan to be realized, with more elements to be completed over time. 

Thanks to Dero Bike Rack Co., there was plenty of bicycle parking for volunteers.

The volunteers planted over 300 native trees and shrubs, including some traditional trees such as oaks and aspen and some unique plants including wild plums and riverbank grapes.  The Tree Trust staff provided instructions to the volunteers, teaching them how to loosen the roots and get the base of the tree to be level with the soil.  During the last ten years, over 3,100 trees and shrubs have been planted along the Midtown Greenway as part of the MCW Partnership's Arbor Day events. 

Arbor Day is consistently supported by a longstanding, successful partnership between the public sector, community organizations, and corporate partners.  These successful Arbor Days would not be possible without terrific project partners: Midtown Greenway Coalition, Tree Trust and Hennepin County.  Hennepin County provided essential  technical support and funding through ongoing efforts in collaboration with Tree Trust. The Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association funded the CEPRO planning process, which was conducted together with the Midtown Greenway Coalition.   

Thanks to all of our Arbor Day funders: Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority / Hennepin County, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Phillips Eye Institute, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Target Corporation, Wells Fargo, Midtown Greenway Coalition, Tree Trust,
Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association, Freewheel Midtown Bike Center
Peace Coffee and Dero Bike Rack Co

Jim Campbell thanks Arbor Day volunteers.

Jim Campbell thanks Arbor Day volunteers.

The ceremonial first tree, planted by Jim Campbell, former CEO of Wells Fargo, Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Commissioner Gail Dorfman, Council Member Robert Lilligren, Shirley Heyer of the Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association, Carolyn Roby from Wells Fargo andNorm Champ from Tree Trust.

The ceremonial first tree, planted by Jim Campbell, former CEO of Wells Fargo, Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Commissioner Gail Dorfman, Council Member Robert Lilligren, Shirley Heyer of the Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association, Carolyn Roby from Wells Fargo andNorm Champ from Tree Trust.

It takes a team: volunteers from Ryan Companies get a tree ready to plant.

It takes a team: volunteers from Ryan Companies get a tree ready to plant.

Thanks to Dero Bike Rack Co., there was plenty of bicycle parking for volunteers.

Thanks to Dero Bike Rack Co., there was plenty of bicycle parking for volunteers.

THE MCW PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES ITS 11TH ANNUAL ARBOR DAY PLANTING EVENT BY THE SABO BRIDGE

Celebrating its 11th annual Arbor Day tree planting event on May 7th, the Midtown Community Works Partnership welcomed the first warm day of spring with trees, shovels and mulch.  The event this year was the largest MCW Arbor Day planting to date, with over 800 trees and shrubs planted with over 100 volunteers.

Commissioner McLaughlin welcomes everyone to Arbor Day.

Commissioner McLaughlin welcomes everyone to Arbor Day.

 The planting this year is an extension of previous plantings near the Sabo Bridge over Hiawatha Avenue.  The Arbor Day event is the third phase of a larger plan that began in 2008 to transform this industrial site into a welcoming gateway to the adjacent neighborhoods.  Based on earlier concept plans and informed by several community meetings, the design features the beauty and environmental benefits of native plants. 

Volunteers work to improve the areas around Sabo Bridge.

Volunteers work to improve the areas around Sabo Bridge.

Commissioner Peter McLaughlin led the event kickoff, giving a warm tribute to the service of Midtown Greenway Coalition Executive Director Tim Springer, who will be retiring in June.  Remarks on the Arbor Day as the kickoff of spring and tributes to Tim Springer were also made by Commissioner Gail Dorfman, Council Member Robert Lilligren, Council Member Gary Schiff, Wells Fargo’s Carolyn Roby, and Karen Zumach of Tree Trust.    

Partway through planting, there are a lot of busy volunteers.

Partway through planting, there are a lot of busy volunteers.

The volunteers planted a new record of trees and shrubs, totaling 822 for this year and around 4,000 over the past 11 years as part of MCW Arbor Day events.  Tree Trust staff provided instructions to the volunteers, teaching them how to loosen the roots and get the base of the tree to be level with the soil. The landscape architect for the site, Gina Bonsignore, notes that the these plants and trees will make major improvements to the site, not only above ground, but also underground – helping to restore the soil to a more natural state.   

Planted, mulched, and ready to wrap up!

Planted, mulched, and ready to wrap up!

Arbor Day is consistently supported by a longstanding, successful partnership between the public sector, community organizations, and corporate partners.  These successful Arbor Days would not be possible without terrific project partners: the Midtown Greenway Coalition, Tree Trust and Hennepin County.  Hennepin County provides essential technical support and funding through ongoing efforts in collaboration with Tree Trust.  MnDOT also provided substantial financial support for this planting through its Landscape Partnership program.   

Thanks to all of our Arbor Day funders: Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority / Hennepin County, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Phillips Eye Institute, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Target Corporation, Wells Fargo, Midtown Greenway Coalition, Tree Trust, MnDOT, Allweather Roof, Peace Coffee, Birchwood Café and Dero Bike Rack Co.