Downtown Mpls has been the donut hole in the city’s tree canopy for generations. Not enough trees have been planted, and too many of the trees that have been planted haven’t survived and matured. This has serious implications for public health, the urban heat island effect, our natural environment, and the beauty of our public realm. Fortunately, there is a rising tide of support and investment to change that.
Starting in 2017, DID has been working on a series of street tree pilot projects with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, Green Minneapolis, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, and downtown neighborhood associations.
Measuring, tracking, and recording detailed information about the performance of the 6,400 street trees downtown.
Marking new trees with tags that enable anyone to learn more about that individual tree and the benefits it’s providing, and to report maintenance concerns.
All new trees within the combined boundaries of DID and the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association have been watered weekly during the growing season.
Standards for the quantity of planting/structural soil surrounding each new tree site have been raised dramatically, and soil sensors are being piloted to learn more about nutrient, water, and salinity conditions.
With more financial support, our weekly watering program could expand to serve more of downtown’s neighborhoods. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
When you see a tree tag downtown, give that tree a shout! Text a tree, learn more about it, and use the hashtag #greeninglab to raise awareness that our plucky young trees are part of a growing downtown Mpls forest!
If you care about this, too, we want to hear from you! There are lots of opportunities to improve the downtown Mpls forest, and many different ways to contribute. Send a note to [email protected] to get more information about how you can get involved.