Rain stayed away for the 12th annual Midtown Community Works Partnership Arbor Day planting event on Saturday, May 5. Although the day was cloudy, recent rain made the dirt soft and damp for volunteers planting shrubs and trees, and provided mud puddles for the youngest of volunteers to splash in. Volunteers planted 244 trees and shrubs between 26th -28th Avenues, bringing the consecutive total to around 4,200.
The area adjacent to 26th Avenue received a few trees by the Arbor Day event in 2007. This year’s planting will provide complementary shrubs and extend the planted area down to 28th Avenue. The new dogwoods, sumac and aronia will complement the existing trees and frame the interpretive sign that documents the Midtown Corridor’s history as a rail corridor.
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.
Commissioner Peter McLaughlin donned his 1995 Tree Trust t-shirt to lead the event kickoff to welcome volunteers. Other speakers included Council Member Robert Lilligren, Council Member Gary Schiff, Wells Fargo’s Carolyn Roby, Soren Jenson of the Midtown Greenway Coalition, and Norm Champ of Tree Trust. Karen Zumach from Tree Trust 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.
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.
Thanks to all of the 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, Western Roofing, Peace Coffee, Birchwood Café and Dero Bike Rack Co.