For the 23rd year, Grand Rapids has been recognized with a Tree City USA award. The city planted about 1,400 trees in 2020 and plans on matching that number this year.

Joe Sulak, parks superintendent for Grand Rapids told WOOD TV,

"The city has a tree canopy goal of 40%, meaning that if you were to look at the city from the sky, we want to have at least 40% of the city covered with trees.”

Tree City USA, part of Arbor Day Foundation, is greening communities across the country. The program is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of an urban tree canopy and improve care of these vital city trees.

Currently the city is at 34% coverage. With a budget of $100,000, 40% coverage should happen by 2025. The trees are being planted through a partnership with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and Boston Square Neighborhood. Victor Williams, the founder of the Boston Square Neighborhood Association said,

"It is a beautiful thing to see the community come together to make sure that the area of the city where it’s primarily black and brown people living are getting their fair share of beauty and health and things that are going to make our lives better all the way around."

The biggest challenge planters are facing is finding places that work best. Trees intercept storm water, clear out air pollutants and produce oxygen. And they make ya happy! Arbor Day is Friday, and the city’s celebrating by planting 50 trees at Plaster Creek Park.