Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss celebrated Ann Arbor day with 500 volunteers planting trees. The event was part of Mayor Bliss’s Greening initiative.
The event took place at Martin Luther King Jr. Park and its surrounding neighborhood on the SE side of Grand Rapids. The event was the result of a partnership between the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, the city government’s forestry division, and the Mayor’s office.
Prior to any trees being planted, a short ceremony was held to honor a real champion of the neighborhood – Albert Rice Jr. A plaque was added to the park as a tribute along with the grove of trees.
Bliss noted, “Albert is a pillar in our community and a champion for this neighborhood.”. “He has made significant contributions in the lives of countless children and families thorugh the Urban Youth Basketball League.”
Tammy Jo Dudzynski, a local real estate agent, was one of the sponsors of the event. Her organization is called PLANT for the future. Budzynski gave the Mayor a $15,000 check as a result of her organization’s efforts in raising funds to plant new trees in the city.
“The Mayor’s Greening initiative would not be possible without this support, along with the hard work of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the city’s foresty division,” Mayor Bliss said.
Upon completion of the opening ceremony, the 400 volunteers got to work and planted more than a dozen trees in Martin Luther Park Jr. Park, and another 360+ trees in the surrounding neighborhood.
The Greening initiative was launched in 2016, and has as its goal a 40% tree canopy. Current canopy is about 35%.
Not only is Grand Rapids considered to be the “Beer City”, it can also boast the title of Tree City. This title was given to Grand Rapids by the Arbor Day Foundation, marking the 19th year it has earned the recognition.