"John Hantz wanted to make the urban desert bloom. Today, a thousand-plus volunteers showed up to plant 15,000 trees on 20 acres of east-side land, transforming blight into landscape," reports Laura Berman.
Hantz is a local financial service entrepreneur who last year bought 1,500 vacant parcels from the city with a promise to clear the land and plant trees. The recent volunteer day created a place called Hantz Woodlands, and Hantz has goals to plant another 15,000 next spring.
On the subject of hope springing eternal: "Hantz, who expects to spend $6 million on his trees, acknowledges that it takes 20 years for the trees to mature. 'This isn’t completely altruistic,' he said. 'If I don’t see it become something, I think my daughter will.'"