Greening Detroit’s Redlined Neighborhoods

A Detroit nonprofit has been planting trees in parts of the city with the lowest tree canopy.

June 22, 2022, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Linda Parton / Shutterstock

Hadassah Patterson, writing in Next City, reports on a Detroit nonprofit that has been greening the city for over three decades. “The nonprofit has planted over 135,000 trees in the city since 1989, with an increasing focus on low-income or minority areas that were historically redlined. Trees currently cover nearly 23% of formerly redlined (grade D) neighborhoods compared to 43% of formerly greenlined (grade A) neighborhoods in 37 major U.S. cities.

The article notes that “Greening of Detroit President Lionel Bradford says reforesting can help combat the higher emissions and hotter temperatures that come with urban areas.” According to Bradford, trees also soak up stormwater, preventing water backups that can foster mosquito infestations and other public health threats. “Greening of Detroit partners with the city to determine the best varieties of trees and locations for planting in neighborhoods and parks.”

The tree planting is just one part of Greening of Detroit’s mission. “In addition to employing community members and working with volunteers, Greening of Detroit runs two workforce development programs that are the backbone of their operations,” Patterson writes. “While Greening of Detroit has been working to increase funding streams from their own services, such as selling plants from its nursery, most of its funding comes from grants and donations from the government, foundations, corporations and individuals.” 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 in Next City

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