During the weekend of October 25-26, 2014 the Highlands-Douglass Neighborhood Association, with help from Boy Scout Troop 40, undertook Phase I of its Reforestation Project. Fifteen neighborhood volunteers, along with 20 Boy Scouts, planted and mulched 75 trees, ranging in size from four feet tall to over 14 feet tall, throughout the Highlands-Douglass neighborhood. They planted several varieties of oaks, tulip poplars, American Lindens, bald cypresses, and Princeton Elms. Although it was hard work, 12 hours each day for some, it was well worth the effort to see all of the new trees in our neighborhood. I would like to thank all those involved for their hard work and donation of materials that made this project possible. (create sidebar listing adult volunteers)
The Highlands-Douglass Neighborhood Association offset the cost of this project by subsidizing the cost of the trees. Homeowners had the option to purchase trees for $25 (HDNA members) or $35 (non-members), as well as the opportunity to upgrade to a larger tree for an additional cost, which was significantly below retail. On average, HDNA spent $45 per tree. The total investment totaled $4,900 (saplings, tree tags, water bags, mulch, and other supplies). In addition to these 75 trees, Councilman Tom Owen’s office has agreed to match HDNA’s planting with one of their own. Mr. Owen’s office has pledged to plant another 22 trees in public right-of-way areas by the end of the year, bringing the total number of new trees to almost 100 in our neighborhood.
It has been decades since that many new trees have been planted. This has been the first year of a multi-year plan to reforest our neighborhood. In the next few years,HDNA hopes to plant several hundred more trees, eventually moving from canopy trees, like the ones planted in October, to understory trees. These smaller trees will be used on more difficult sites, like under power lines or in small yards. There are many benefits to adding more trees to our neighborhood. A good tree canopy helps decrease energy bills during the summer, increases both aesthetic and property values, and improves the environment by providing cleaner air and reducing heat islands. Perhaps most importantly, reinitializing our tree canopy will provide future generations with a extraordinary neighborhood to live in.
Phase II of the Highlands-Douglass Reforestation Plan began in May of 2015 and we are well under way to plant more trees in our neighborhood. As part of Phase II we have nearly completed our canopy survey, gone door to door to talk to neighbors about purchasing trees and received a MSD grant to help us underwrite tree planting for the next several years. We are set to plant over 100 trees this year on the weekend of October, 17-18, 2015. If you are interesting in helping us plant trees, please contact Josh White firstname.lastname@example.org.