Trees matter. A lot. 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, all around the world for the preservation of biodiversity and to fight against climate change. Sign up to volunteer or donate now to support this initiative!
The goal of our Treeforestation initiative is to create a model for restoring and managing forests throughout the Greater Cincinnati region. To do this, we must first change the conversation from simply “plant more trees,” to, “what will it take to create healthy and vibrant urban ecosystems that serve wildlife and people.” By working with the Cincinnati Parks Department and other local partners, we will develop a framework for empowering Cincinnati residents to take action in restoring local forests, we will outline a strategy for restoring our forests in a financially sustainable way, and we will establish a long term management plan to ensure the health of restored forests long into the future.
When we aren’t busy restoring local forests, we are hard at work trying to educate the public on what we are doing and why we are doing it. We want people to be aware of the significant threat posed by invasive species that are already well established in North America’s forests. Through our classes and volunteer events, we are working to empower people to take action in restoring their local forest and to increase awareness about the significant threat facing our deciduous forests.
Walnut Hills High School Project
Our first project is a 10 acre site located directly adjacent to Walnut Hills High School. 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 addition to attending invasive removal workdays, students from Walnut Hills have been working with the CGC’s horticulturalist, Greg Torres, to collect seeds from nearby forests, germinate the seeds in the school’s greenhouse, and grow them into native tree saplings that will be planted in the site we are working to restore. In 2019, the students grew over 160 trees which were used to replant about 2 acres of the site. In addition to student engagement, we had widespread community involvement with this project, including over 1,100 volunteer hours spent in this site alone in 2019.
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.
To make a donation to the project, see below, or sign up for a volunteer workday. Our next volunteer workday is Saturday, April 18th, 9am-12pm, we hope to see you there!