2020 Mini Grant Projects

 In 2020, Taking Root awarded five Mini-Grants for planting trees in low-canopy neighborhoods, local parks and school grounds. The grants enabled local entities to carry out self-initiated plans and projects in which the addition of new trees is just part of the project benefit.

 In these 2020 projects, trees were planted to address local needs such as storm water runoff reductions and hillside reforestation, for which the new trees will become increasingly effective as they grow.  Many of the projects involved youth and other volunteers in a planting process that gave them new perspective on tree value and a sense of gratification from community service. Some projects leveraged additional resources for tree planting and maintenance, and most provided publicity that expands awareness of tree benefits and Taking Root goals.

Taking Root would like to thank Mini-Grant applicants for their passion and commitment for planting trees and to thank the Taking Root donors who enabled these projects to occur. Please consider making a contribution to Taking Root’s Tree Fund so we can continue to fund these great projects!

Below are the 2020 Mini-Grant recipients and short descriptions of their projects.

Anderson Urban Farm

In just over a year this project has reclaimed several acres of old farmstead from invasive plants and installed a community garden. Now the project focus has shifted to the border areas of woodland that are still overrun with honeysuckle and euonymus. The wooded hillside running down to the creek is the final focus. The current team is working on the buffer with Turpin H.S. With donated equipment and volunteer power, these mini grant winners cleared the area in one weekend. Anderson Urban Farm’s vision is to plant this area with native trees and understory shrubs to benefit the birds and insects of our region. As this area slopes toward the community garden, the soil is protected and the water quality is improved. 

Christ the King Lutheran Church

The goal of this mini grant project is to create high quality native woodland, to provide good fauna habitat (including insects!) & educational opportunities. We have 2 acres to reforest, with a few existing mature trees and invasive species. Volunteers will plant a variety of native shrubs & forbs. Within the 2 acres, there is both upland & lowland areas, to demonstrate a variety of environments. This project proposes planting 18 native tree species. There are trails throughout this area for easy educational access. The grant will allow the team to purchase trees from local nurseries specializing in natives.

East Central High School

This project will continue the EC Re-Leaf program that started in 2017. It is a program where the planting of native trees and shrubs is encouraged. The mini grant winners will also emphasize the importance of plant pollinators in creating a healthy environment and improving the ecosystem for native wildlife species. The project will also display the benefits of the removal of invasive species and how the continuation of planting and maintaining such species should be avoided. The East Central High School started a small nursery where approximately 50 native tree/shrub seedlings are planted to containers and will eventually be grown and planted at other schools and sold to members of the community. 

Lakota East High School

The mini grant recipients amended the soil with pinebark fines, topsoil and manure around the trees to ensure they get adequate nutrients and maintain moisture levels. Each year, students will remove invasive species from the area. Seedlings will be equipped with a “deer guard” that protects them from being eaten by deer or rabbits. This project will provide needs for the annual tree-planting initiative in our reforestation area. The students are taught the value of native trees which include habitat provision, carbon sequestration, air filtering and reducing soil erosion. They are able to witness first hand, the threat invasive species pose to the area. 

 City of Wyoming 

These mini grant recipients continued efforts to plant native trees in Stearns Woods, which was recently cleared of invasive species. The City also recently repaired the natural stream corridor through the woods, which had been dammed by a previous owner.

 

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