Flint, MI—The Genesee Conservation District will plant 250 trees throughout Flint thanks to a $140,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Angela Warren, administrator for the GCD, said the trees will be planted across six sectors—Northeast, Northwest, Central East, Central West, Southeast, and Southwest—which were designated by a tree inventory and assessment completed in 2015.

“Each of the six city sectors, encompassing all nine wards, will have at least 30 trees planted,” Warren said. “The remaining 70 trees will be planted where residents have requested a tree, where replacement trees are needed, or where they will aid in the management of stormwater runoff.”

According to a Dec. 13 press release from the Mott Foundation, the planting will build on the GCD’s work from another roughly $200,000 award the foundation granted the organization in 2020.

The GCD used that money to remove a total of 350 dead and dying “street trees,” defined as “city-owned trees located in traffic islands, medians and the right-of-way between the sidewalk and the curb.”

“It was great to see so much progress on tree removal over the past year,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “But residents also told us they wanted to see new trees planted, and we’re happy to support that, too.”

According to the release, residents can request that a tree be planted “in the grass strip between the sidewalk and curb in front of their house.”

Neighborhood groups looking to work with the GCD on planting multiple trees in their area may also submit requests.

“We will give them a choice of trees that could be planted,” Warren said the GCD of the planting process after site selection, which will be dependent on overhead wires, underground utilities, and streetlights.

“We have a list of approved trees that will tolerate the salt and tolerate the affects of being planted in that location,” she said, adding that tree choices will also be dependent on nursery availability.

According to the Mott Foundation’s press release, planting is expected to begin spring 2022 and continue over the next two years.

“The benefits of a vibrant urban forest are numerous,” Warren said in the release. “In order to maintain a healthy urban canopy, new plantings are an essential part of the equation. A healthy canopy reduces the amount of heat and humidity in a community, makes city streets more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, and even lowers the average driving speed.”

For more information or to send a tree planting request, residents may contact the Genesee Conservation District via email at geneseecd@yahoo.com.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....