Fall is almost here, which means that our Fall Grants have been dispersed. We have 6 wonderful schools/communities/organizations who will receive Mini-Grants. Below are the winners and a short description of their projects:

Saint Ursula Villa is a private school operating in Mount Lookout. They plan on planting 40 trees on 3 acres of land. They have already removed bush honeysuckle and wild grape vine on this area with help of parent volunteers. They would like to reforest the property and plant various tree species around the entire campus to replace the trees that have died. As part of this initiative the school has created a new outdoor education program to connect the students to nature. They have built hiking trails that students have an opportunity to visit and planting new varieties of trees would further enhance students learning.

City of Mt. Healthy will plant 40 trees this year. They started their tree planting program in 2011 and have planted around 100 trees since then. They have a 98% survival rate and works with education community and city government on the value of urban forest canopy. They work with the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Civic Engagement and local schools. This project will occur on Perry Street between Adams Rd and Compton Rd and will be their largest street tree planting.

Grailville will plant 10 trees with this Taking Root grant but will also plant over 50 trees with other sources of funding and trees transplanted from areas previously reforested. They plan to replace trees that were removed due to health and age and have partnered with Boy Scout Troop 55 along with staff and families from Children’s Meeting House to volunteer for the events and also their outdoor education program.

Lakota East High School ‘s Environmental club will continue its reforestation project adjacent to the athletic fields and I-75. Last year, they planted 40 tree saplings and would like to plant 20 larger trees this year. Students will conduct a soil analysis and provide proper amendments for optimal conditions for the trees. Graduates who participate in this project will be able to see their reforestation efforts grow over time.

The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori will have one or two volunteer work days where parents and students will remove honeysuckle. They will partner with Columbia Township for shredding services and the Eagle Scouts for woodland restoration. The 1.5 acres of woodland is on a steep hill bounded on two sides by steep creek ravines. By clearing the land the students will have a nature trail to utilize with on-staff teacher naturalists to lead. The woodland also has historic value and served as a limestone quarry. The natural and historic value of the area provides an excellent opportunity for the school to provide‘pedagogy of place’ for students.

The Madisonville Community Council has had a strong relationship with Taking Root and is a model for what is possible when community leaders, local organizations, and citizens come together to support the case for trees! They are a collaborative effort between public and private schools, community businesses, community residents and the Community Council. They have planted over 75 trees over the past 4 years of this project. The project targets neighborhoods that are “tree-poor” and works with residents to generate interests in getting a tree and becoming a tree steward.

We had 13 great projects apply for The Fall Mini-Grant cycle but we could only choose 6 this season. It is exciting to see so many communities wanting to plant trees to improve their neighborhoods and encourage organizations to continue to apply for the Spring season.  The Spring Mini-Grants cycle opens on September 1st and goes through December 31st. We would like to thank The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and donors like you, who make funding these projects possible and to the applicants for applying and having a passion for planting trees. Please consider making a contribution to Taking Root so we can continue to fund these great projects HERE!



Picture from Lakota East High School’s planting event.

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