Jeramey Jannene

Mayor, Students Celebrate Arbor Day With Tree Planting

Mayor Johnson, DPW plant trees along 30th Street corridor with students from nearby schools.

By - Apr 29th, 2022 03:10 pm
Mayor Cavalier Johnson addresses students from Hope Christian Schools at a 2022 Arbor Day event. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson addresses students from Hope Christian Schools at a 2022 Arbor Day event. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee’s 30th Street Corridor is now a little bit greener.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson joined students from Hope Christian Schools and forestry workers from the Department of Public Works to celebrate Arbor Day by planting 26 trees at Green Tech Station, 4101 N. 31st St.

The three-acre site, just north of Capitol Drive, was once a vacant brownfield. But the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, Reflo and a host of other partners have worked to make it an educational, green infrastructure destination for students and adults alike.

NWSCDC executive director Willie Smith welcomed students to the site and noted that with the 26 new trees, more than 450 have now been planted at the site.

“The act of planting a tree reflects hope for the future and benefits future generations,” said Mayor Johnson. For the 43rd-straight-year Milwaukee was designated a Tree City by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Fourth graders from Hope’s Semper School, located across the street, recited a poem about growing trees as part of the ceremony. Then they were treated to a tour of the various green infrastructure components of the site from Reflo and Nearby Nature Milwaukee. This included demonstrations on how to plant a tree and how the 20,000-gallon cistern works. Before heading back to school the students got to watch principal Jameela Lee be lifted up in a bucket truck, cheering every time a forestry worker asked if she should be raised higher.

“Maintaining trees in the city is our passion,” said DPW forestry services manager Randy Krouse. The city has some 189,000 in its publicly-owned inventory. New ones, like the ones planted Friday, are grown in a city-owned nursery in Franklin.

Kristin Gies, executive director of the Mequon Nature Preserve, also participated in the event and invited any Milwaukee schools interested in visiting the 510-acre preserve to reach out. The nonprofit covers transportation costs for school field trips from the city.

The nature preserve also brought a crowd-pleaser, Tilia the Conservation Dog. Tilia was joined by the Semper Shark, the school’s mascot. Alderman Nik Kovac, City Engineer Jerrel Kruschke and redevelopment authority assistant director Dave Misky were also in attendance at the event.

DPW rotates the annual event around the city, with a number of small events also taking place in partnerships with schools.

The 2022 Arbor Day celebration was the first with in-person students since 2019. Last year’s ceremony in Riverwest was broadcast virtually to students at the nearby La Escuela Fratney school. And while the virtual component of 2021 is gone, one new tradition remains: Black Husky Brewing continues to brew beer flavored with boughs from the city’s annual Christmas Tree and donate the proceeds to the city’s urban forestry fund.


Categories: Environment, Weekly

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