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A day to go green

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Longtime blog readers may remember a post about The Greening of Detroit and its work with the Cotton family to restore the tree canopy on East Jefferson Avenue, one of the busiest and most historic thoroughfares in the city. Well, this Saturday they're all getting together for the "official" start to the big push to plant some 540 trees along Jefferson Avenue. (The whole effort will take several more weekends.)

The plan is to meet at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at Erma Henderson Park located on East Jefferson near Burns Street. There, Jon Cotton of Health Plan of Michigan, along with Rebecca Salminen Witt, president of The Greening of Detroit, will commemorate this historic event with a tree dedication highlighting the renewal of Jefferson Avenue.

According to The Greening of Detroit:

This philanthropic partnership will educate individuals about the importance of the urban forest, supporting initiatives aimed at building a stronger economy along Jefferson, employ and train Detroit youth looking for meaningful jobs, leverage additional support from key officials and civic organizations for new projects, and create a healthier Detroit for all to work, live and play.

Jefferson Avenue was first surveyed in 1807 and named “Main Street”, but was soon renamed Jefferson Avenue. It was the main thoroughfare that brought residents and workers downtown. With the advent of the automobile, Jefferson Avenue became a primary conduit for travelers driving to the Grosse Pointes and to vacation homes in St. Clair Shores and Mount Clemens. Over the years, the road was widened and paved, and trees were removed to make room for parking lots, commercial developments, office buildings and apartments. Add in the loss of trees due to Dutch elm disease and Emerald Ash Borer, and the once fully–forested length of East Jefferson is now mostly barren.

The Greening of Detroit works to grow a “greener” Detroit through planting and educational programs, environmental leadership, advocacy and by building community capacity.

Throw some time and money its way, would ya?

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    I did a preliminary planting (62 trees) last weekend. It's a great experience, and the digging isn't overly strenuous. I met a lot of great people, too.

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