Stay in the Loop

Volunteers Needed For 2020 ‘Tree Census’

While efforts to green up the North Loop have made great strides in the past few years, there are plenty more spaces where trees could be planted in the neighborhood. And as part of October’s Service Saturday events, the North Loop Neighborhood Association is teaming up with the Downtown Improvement District and Green Minneapolis to help volunteers take part in the Downtown Tree Census.

After some basic instruction on the morning of October 10th, volunteers will be able to use a simple texting platform on their phones to make note of spaces where trees could go. That instruction will take place at 11:00 AM outside Corner Coffee at 514 North 3rd Street.

Ben Shardlow

“It’s going to involve spotting dead trees and spotting sites where there’s no tree,” said Ben Shardlow, Director of Urban Design for the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District. “So, in empty tree grates, a planting bed where there’s an obvious gap where there used to be a tree. And using our texting system, it’ll be easy for people to say ‘I noticed this spot, here’s what I saw: dead tree, missing tree, and here’s where it is.’ We’ll turn that into a spreadsheet and we’ll share that with our partners at the Park Board.”

Shardlow said the Park Board will likely plant a few dozen more trees in the neighborhood next spring, based on the information collected in the Tree Census.

“If we want a robust canopy throughout the neighborhood, we can’t miss any opportunities to plant more trees,” he said. “In order to address that urban heat island effect, we need shade. In order to have streets we enjoy strolling down in the summer, we need shade.”

Everyone who shows up for the October 10th event will get a goodie bag which organizers are calling a “tree-lovers’ prize pack.” No advance registration is necessary; just show up.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association

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