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.
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.
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.
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 essentialtechnical 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.