We believe there is nothing more important than accessible healthy forests in every community. Our Treeforestation Program aims to engage local communities in forest restoration projects in their own neighborhoods. Sign up for a forest restoration workday or donate now to support this initiative!
With our forests facing unprecedented risks from disease, invasive species and human development, local trees need our help! That’s why the Civic Garden Center (CGC) has undertaken our “Treeforestation” initiative in an attempt to help restore Cincinnati forests for the benefit of community members, native wildlife, and for future generations. This effort is part of a larger global movement to restore forests, big and small, for the preservation of biodiversity and to fight against climate change.
Our work includes organizing volunteer workdays to remove invasive species and replant native trees, educating students and community members about what they can do to address the problem and acquiring grant funding to support the work of our volunteer force. We rely on a volunteer driven approach that engages students and volunteers in each step of the restoration process and allows them to build ownership over their local green spaces.
“One facet of this greenery, trees, is the largest, longest-lasting and easiest to maintain form available to us. Without them we could not exist. They add so much by way of shade, beauty, and color, to the wants of our very existence. Why not plant more of them?”
-Cornelius J. Hauck (Benefactor of the Civic Garden Center)
Current Restoration Projects
Walnut Woods Project
Our project at Walnut Hills High School is our longest running forest restoration project and most successful project to date. Located directly adjacent to the school, the 10 acre site is home to both a forest and transitional prairie habitat. In partnership with the Cincinnati Parks Department, Walnut Hills High School, and the Evanston Community Council, we are working to remove the invasive plants running rampant throughout the property and replant native plants in their place. With the help of students and volunteers, we are working to transition this forest into an educational space to be used by Walnut Hills High School and a recreational space for local community members.
In the past 2 years volunteers, CGC staff and partners have:
- planted more than 800 trees grown by Walnut Hills students
- removed significant amounts of invasive honeysuckle and other invasive species throughout the 10 acre site
- planted a large native prairie habitat consisting of 1,300 pollinators plants
- established a mulched trail system running throughout the park
- engaged 500+ individual volunteers logging at least 2,500 volunteers hours
St. Xavier High School Project
St. Xavier High School is working to restore the roughly 20 acre wooded space behind their school. With strong volunteer engagement from the students, this project has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Similar to Walnut Woods, this forest will create outdoor educational opportunities for teachers and students at the high school.
Growing Trees From Seed
Each of our restoration projects involve removing invasive plants and replacing them with native plants and trees. Rather than purchasing trees from a nursery, we haverecruited students to help up grow native tree saplings from seeds collected throughout the year. Collecting and propagating seeds ensures a strong diversity of genes and offers opportunities for people to learn how to grow their own native trees!
We invite YOU to join us in this exciting initiative. You can purchase a native tree to be planted or give a donation that funds much needed tools and materials, as well as our educational efforts. You can join in on invasive plant removal and other site preparation volunteer days. We are always looking for people to help spread the word about the project by telling your friends and family.
- ODNR Division of Forestry: Ohio Forest Action Plan
- Native Replacements: Native Plants Are Simply Better
- Native Plant Month