Trees and Gardens
In 2008 Oakdale Neighbors planted 65 trees in the neighborhood. These trees will help cool the
neighborhood, increase property values, slow traffic along Kalamazoo and reduce the carbon footprint of the
neighborhood. The project is called Leaves of the Tree Give Life to the Nations. RapidGrowthMedia.com
covered the project with this story.
Fifteen species of tree are being planted, most of them native to Michigan. A variety of native species were
selected to avoid devastating losses from disease or pests in the future. Ash trees, for example, are being
destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer.
The trees were planted by the City of Grand Rapids along Kalamazoo and by Katerberg VerHage Landscape
elsewhere in the neighborhood. Neighbors are recruited to “adopt” a tree, watering it regularly and
attending to its welfare. Teams of youth volunteers planted flowers around the trees, mulched each tree,
and installed watering bags in June 2008.
The project is funded by the Dyer-Ives Foundation, the Frey Foundation, the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources, Fuller Area Neighbors and many individuals.
One tree will absorb the carbon produced by 1200 miles of travel by car or four hours of travel by air.
A report for the Dyer-Ives Foundation can be found HERE.
Each summer since 2005 teams of youth planted have planted or maintained donated perennials along