Louisville Grows organizes numerous planting events during each tree-planting season, from November through April. However, much of the work is done before the actual planting day!
First, Louisville Grows meets with community and neighborhood groups, specifically in areas with low urban tree canopy, to discuss possible tree planting opportunities, dates, and locations. Then, Citizen Foresters, community members, and volunteers canvass the neighborhoods where the trees will be planted to talk with residents about Love Louisville Trees and the benefit of the urban tree canopy. The Love Louisville Trees program offers homeowners and renters (with permission) 1-3 trees for FREE planted by the resident, volunteers, and neighbors. The resident can select the species and location of each tree. If a resident is interested in helping reforest the urban tree canopy and committing to care for the tree for three years, they become a “treecipient”! Louisville Grows continues to stay in contact before, during, and after the planting to ensure the success of their tree.
Once we have determined the appropriate species and locations for each tree in the planting, an order is placed with a local nursery. Trees are delivered and staged a few days prior to the planting.
The morning of the planting event, Citizen Foresters and volunteers arrive for breakfast and are separated into planting teams. Once on site, Citizen Foresters lead planting demonstrations for a group of volunteers… and then the fun begins! When all trees are planted in their zone, groups return to the staging site to regroup and share a warm meal.
As we train more Community Foresters, we’ll be able to increase the number of trees planted from a few hundred per year to a few thousand!
Louisville Grows aims to provide resources and experience to work with a community, not just in a community, and all the skills learned in the course can be used to assist with plantings all around the city or country. Planning a tree-planting event with a community takes months of hard work, and consists of five steps:
1. Identify neighborhood based off initial community interest and data from the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment
2. Partner with community organizations and key stakeholders
3. Canvass the neighborhood with community representatives and Citizen Foresters
4. Train community representatives as Citizen Foresters
5. Planting day with volunteers