What is the best way to celebrate a quarter century of greening Detroit? What’s the best place to do it? A planting in the place where it all began seems the most poetic.
On Thursday, May 14, Greening Detroit will go back to its roots to mark where it has been, what it has achieved, and commit itself to what it is yet to be done.
Over the last 25 years the Greening of Detroit has grown from a small tree planting organization to a full-service, nonprofit environmental agency. Since its inception, it has:
- Planted more than 85,000 trees
- Exposed more than 14,000 children to environmental and nutrition education
- Trained more than 618 adults in green jobs, supported 1,514 family and community gardens
- Trained 304 citizen foresters
When the Greening of Detroit was founded Detroit was not quite the tree-lined-street Paris of the Midwest that it had once been. The city lost more than 500,000 trees between 1950-1980 due to attrition, disease, and urban growth. Unfortunately, Detroit’s economic constraints prohibited it from replacing the trees.
Elizabeth Gordon Sachs looked around and saw the need to replant the city and devoted herself to reforesting Detroit. Greening Detroit was founded, and the first trees were planted at 1463 East Jefferson Ave., which is now the Greening of Detroit Park.
Sachs will help plant the memorial tree at The Greening’s very first planting site 25 years ago … where the greening roots started in the first place.