West Siders had the opportunity to witness another groundbreaking event yesterday. The ground breaking was a bit different than what most people are accustomed to. This one was for the 14th Street Tree Farm. I biked over to see firsthand the trees being planted – the entire neighborhood was buzzing with activity as tractors, community activists and trees moved about as if a chess game were being played out. What a sight to see Justin Booth (photo) wielding a fire hose (thanks to The City), in order to properly soak the newly planted roots.
Justin told me that the project (originally reported here), was accomplished through the combined help of over nine organizations, including PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing), ReTree, Buffalo Green Fund, Community Foundation, Dore Landscaping, WNY
Nurserymen’s Association, The City, AmeriCorps and Grassroots Gardens. He figured that the donations racked up at this point in time are upwards of $200,000. I want to give an extra-special shout out to Dore Landscaping – the company is located in Pendleton! Dore donated materials, trucks, and the man and woman (knowledge is) power to get the job done. At the end of the day there will be 360 trees planted with 26 different varieties. 1/3 of those trees will be harvested and replanted each spring. Twelve neighborhood youth will take care of the farm while ReTree will ultimately save $60 per tree planted.
This project should be a case study. Hopefully this will be the first tree farm of many found in the city. The double-lot property, donated PUSH, is located a couple of blocks from the Urban Roots Garden Co-operative (14th, between Vermont and Rhode Island). The savings per tree (formerly $70 per tree – now $10 per) will help Buffalo inch its way back to becoming, once again, the City of Trees. A ribbon cutting will take place at noon.