By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck is about to get greener.
We’re not talking green as in financial grants, the creation of more parks, or the worst dread in the world for some: marijuana dispensaries.
Instead, the city is about to get more trees planted throughout the neighborhoods.
How many? About a million bucks’ worth, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forest Program.
City Manager Max Garbarino said the grant will fund the planting of about 1,500 trees and fund further maintenance of the trees that have already been planted and about to be, plus allow the city to have a tree steward on hand, as well as a subscription to a tree management software program.
“I’m incredibly excited. This is huge for us,” Garbarino said.
The money is being distributed to the non-profit organization Greening of Detroit, which is no stranger to Hamtramck.
The organization has funded and overseen a number of previous tree plantings in the city.
While this latest grant slated for Hamtramck is huge, the City of Detroit really hit the leafy jackpot, winning a $10 million grant for tree planting.
In all, 11 groups in Michigan were awarded a total of $33 million. Detroit received the hugest chunk. In total, the U.S. Forest Service is distributing $1 billion for 400 projects nationwide.
Hamtramck lost about 500 trees in 1997 when a wind storm, that some say was a tornado or something very close to it, struck the city.
Since then, the city has likely replanted most of the trees toppled by those heavy winds, and perhaps even more.
In a press release issued by the Forest Service, it said, regarding the grant:
“The City of Hamtramck project will ensure tree canopy continuity, and focus on replacing trees lost to disease and age. The goal is to establish tree canopies in neighborhoods with low canopy cover.
“The project will plant residential trees and install rain catchment systems that will actively engage the residents, and build stewards of the trees.”
Posted Sept. 22, 2023