By City of Muncie Communications—
Muncie, IN- Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour launched his project “1000 trees in 1000 days” at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site in Heekin Park on Friday, March 19 at 2pm where the first tree planting took place.
Muncie is vastly different today than it was 10 years ago, and likely unrecognizable from 50 years ago. Today, asphalt, empty lots, and concrete greet you where proud Ash and Elm trees once lined our city streets.
“We have lost that cathedral of Green and want to see it return to our community,” said Ridenour. “With the assistance of many we begin that re-build today with the first plantings toward 1000 new trees. I am very excited about the impact this project will have on Muncie for years to come.”
The Mayor is working with a team including non-profits such as CEP (Community Enhancement Project), Foundations, Special Projects Director Dustin Clark, City Engineer Brian Stephens- Hotopp and the Urban Forester, Kelley McClellan. They have been working over the last several months to begin the site selection process, develop a long-term maintenance plan and selecting the right species.
Although beautifying the city is a great cause, it’s not the only reason to plant new trees. Trees can increase the value of nearby properties by an average of 20%. The main thoroughfares, corridors, neighborhoods, and city parks will be the main focus. It’s hard to put a price on how an avenue of trees can muffle the roar of a main road, for homes and businesses.
“The value in planting a tree is 10% for yourself and 90% for your kids,” said Special Projects Director Dustin Clark.
Time and time again, new businesses choose their location based upon on the quality of life in a community. Parks, roads, sidewalks, and schools always top the list. This is another reason why Mayor Ridenour is focusing his dollars and attention on this and other projects.
1000 trees will not be planted overnight. On average the mayor is planning on planting 333 native hardwoods, each year for the next three years. Hardwoods such as London Plane, White Oak, American Yellowwood, American Linden, and Northern Red Oak, to name a few, will help replenish the Elms that have been wiped out by Dutch Elm Disease. and the Emerald Ash Borer,
The mayor and his team understand that this will be a major undertaking and many partnerships will need to be established including local schools, associations, and organizations. The “1000 Trees in 1000 Days” project will go a long way to making the city more attractive to Muncie businesses and citizens for generations to come.
Incorporated in 1865, the City of Muncie is a welcoming and ambitions community. The municipality has a population of approximately 70,085 residents, and is located in the heart of East-Central Indiana. Muncie prides itself as being a central hub for commerce, recreation, and development. Home to quality education, technology driven development, and a friendly populous. Muncie is proud to be “The Capital of East-Central Indiana.”