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.
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 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.
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.
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.