GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Driving downtown Friday morning, you may have noticed the hundreds of volunteers planting trees along Grand Rapids' major roads. Perhaps you even spotted some familiar FOX 17 faces.
The goal of Friday's event was to increase the tree canopy in the city as part of Mayor Rosalyn Bliss' Greening Initiative. Trees help clear the air, limit localized flooding and beautify communities.
Overall, the city of Grand Rapids has a good tree canopy score at about 34 percent, but that is a blanket estimate. To get to the root of which areas need more trees, the Mayor focused on the needs of individual neighborhoods.
"The areas we are focusing on today are in the downtown area, right now the area only has a 4% tree canopy, so our goal downtown is to get to 10 percent," Mayor Bliss said.
There were about 500 volunteers who planted 300 trees, but site leader Brooks Twist says the city's project is only half the battle, "The city is working really hard to plant all their space, but most of the city is privately owned and the more trees you can put on your own property the better.”
If you want to join Mayor Bliss and the Urban Forest Project click here.