Canopy newsletter: Healthy Tree Canopy grants awarded, gravel bed nursery upgraded, and fall feature on neighborhood trees


20 Healthy Tree Canopy grants awarded

The county recently awarded 20 Healthy Tree Canopy grants totaling $378,980. The grants will help combat threats to trees from invasive insects and diseases, promote the development of a more diverse, resilient, and equitable tree canopy, and support efforts to educate the public on tree care and the importance of trees.

Trees in containers ready to be planted

Increasing the benefits that trees provide

More than 1,000 trees will be planted through the grant projects, increasing the benefits that trees provide throughout the county. Trees improve air quality by absorbing fine particulate matter and other pollutants, and they protect water quality by slowing down and infiltrating stormwater runoff. Trees also provide shade, reduce the urban heat island effect, reduce stress, and increase property values.

Prioritizing grants that help address disparities

Volunteers planting trees along path

The grants will improve livability by planting trees in neighborhoods throughout the county experiencing disproportionate amounts of economic, environmental, and health disparities. Grants were selected in part using the county’s tree planting prioritization map, which factors in both environmental and demographic data to identify areas that have lower tree canopy and higher need.

Eight of the twelve grants awarded to affordable housing providers, nonprofit organizations, and schools are in high priority areas. Six of the eight cities recommended for grants are entirely within moderate and high priority planting areas or contain canopy deficient areas.

Learn about the grants awarded.

Gravel-bed tree nursery upgraded

Gravel bed nursery upgrade complete with concrete poured

An upgrade was recently completed on the county’s gravel-bed tree nursery, ensuring the county will continue to have access to about 1,000 hardy, diverse, and cost-effective trees each year to transplant to various projects and properties.

The ground under the gravel bed was paved to reduce the amount of soil that gets mixed in with the gravel, which was happening when foresters used heavy equipment to install and remove the trees.

Forester showing fibrous roots from tree in gravel bed nursery

Trees grown in a gravel-bed nursery develop a healthy, fibrous root structure that is superior to the root systems of containerized or balled and burlap trees. Having too much soil mixing in with the gravel restricted the movement of the trees’ roots, preventing them from developing that healthy root structure.

Maintaining and improving the gravel-bed nursery is a key part of the county’s forestry efforts that focus on planting a diversity of tree species, increasing the resiliency of the urban forest, and addressing threats from tree pests and disease.

Virtual conference: Partners in Community Forestry

The largest international gathering of urban forestry practitioners, advocates, researchers, and government leaders is going virtual! Mark your calendar for November 17 to 20 for an opportunity to listen to excellent presentations about community and urban forestry. The Arbor Day Foundation is still working on the details, so check their website for updates.

Fall feature: Get to know your neighborhood trees with tree bingo

This fall, we will be promoting our neighborhood tree bingo and helping people learn more about common trees in their neighborhood.

To help spread the word:

Neighborhood tree bingo card with variety of trees and names and photos

Green Minneapolis puts on downtown tree scavenger hunt

As part of their Healthy Tree Canopy grant, Green Minneapolis has set up a tree scavenger hunt in downtown Minneapolis. Use a cell phone and your knowledge of downtown sites to find 10 tree tags between the Mississippi River and Hennepin-Lyndale Crossroads. Each tag will prompt you to text to learn about the street tree conditions at that particular site and provide you with the next clue. Exploring the 1.8 mile route is a fun afternoon activity for kids and families. Find 4 or more clues and receive a free tree-lover prize!

Green Minneapolis tree scavenger hunt first clue

Hennepin County Forestry


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