City Club screengrab
Armond Budish, delivering 2019 state of the county address
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish was distraught, last year, that so few trees had been planted as part of the Healthy Tree Canopy Grant Program he'd announced with such fanfare at his state of the county address in 2019
Fewer than 500 new trees had been planted at this time last year, and only a small percentage of the nearly $1 million in initial grant funding had been spent.
The pandemic was partly to blame, but as Scene reported at the time
, the initial low number of newly planted trees was largely due to the planning required before ambitious plantings can be undertaken. In order for healthy and appropriate reforestation to occur, the Cleveland neighborhoods and suburbs applying for grant funds first had to inventory their existing tree stock and create long-term strategic plans.
This year, the numbers of planted trees will be significantly higher. The county recently announced that in the second round of funding, 25 grant recipients will receive close to $1 million, and all of the proposed projects will include planting trees. (Five of the 25 include planning as well.) More than 4,000 trees in total will be planted across the county, bringing the total from both rounds of funding to about 5,400.
“Planting trees is important, but making sure they are healthy and will survive for the next 50 to 75 years is paramount for a successful tree canopy restoration program," said Cuyahoga County Sustainability Director, Mike Foley, in a press release. "This grant program
allows us to continue to increase our canopy across dozens of municipalities in a healthy and sustainable way.”
Some Cleveland neighborhoods are receiving funding this year after funds from the first grant cycle were deployed on planning. Slavic Village, Cudell, Old Brooklyn, University Circle and MidTown are all using funds to begin planting trees while continuing existing work on specific projects and longer-term plans. MidTown will plant 175 trees in its service area. Holden Forests and Gardens is receiving funding to plant 75 trees on the clustered CMHA estates of Outhwaite, Carver Park and King Kennedy in Cleveland's Central neighborhood.
The largest grant in this round (nearly $100,000) is going to the City of Parma. In addition to planting trees, Parma's grant will help establish a tree nursery for future plantings and propagation.
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