Detroit Residents Plant 15,000 Trees in a Day

The story of Hantz Woodlands—and a local philanthropist's vision to transform urban blight into an urban forest.
May 19, 2014, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"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.'"

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Published on Saturday, May 17, 2014 in The Detroit News
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