Mayor's Greening Initiative

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Tree logo for Mayor's Greening Initiative

Trees provide amazing social, economic, and environmental benefits to our city.

In 2011, the City Master Plan established a 40% tree canopy cover goal. Grand Rapids has a current tree canopy cover of 34.6%. We're only 5.4% shy of our goal!

The Mayor's Greening Initiative focuses on areas of our city with low tree canopy cover. Every year, the Mayor hosts a Greening Initiative tree planting on Arbor Day. Volunteers plant hundreds of trees around the city in one day.

The 2019 Mayor's Greening Initiative Arbor Day Planting will be on two dates:

Friday April 26th from 6 PM - 7 PM

100 five gallon trees given away at Sullivan Field 

Saturday April 27th from 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

The Tree Planting and Community Celebration will be from 8:30 to 11:30 am on Saturday, April 27th starting at Roosevelt Park.

Want to volunteer at the tree planting? Click here! 

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Did you know that you can earn rewards for volunteering? By volunteering at the Mayor’s Greening Initiative, you can earn 500 points that are redeemable for discounts and products at local businesses.

These rewards are available to both City residents and non-City residents alike. Start earning rewards today!

Sign up at

On April 28, 2018, nearly 400 volunteers joined Mayor Rosalynn Bliss at Sullivan Field on the City’s Westside.

Mr. Anthony “Tony” Torrone received recognition for his contributions to the neighborhood and the city.

Teams of volunteers planted 300 trees in the surrounding neighborhood. 

On April 28, 2017, more than 500 volunteers joined Mayor Rosalynn Bliss at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

Mr. Albert Rice, Jr. received recognition for being a pillar in his community. Mr. Rice created the Urban Youth Basketball League in 1999. 

Teams of volunteers planted 15 trees in the park and 365 in the surrounding neighborhood. 

To view a full list of sponsors and partners, click here

Learn more about Arbor Day! 

  • Arbor means tree in Latin
  • Arbor Day is a legal holiday that began on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska City, Nebraska. On the first Arbor Day, approximately 1 million trees were planted
  • Arbor Day became a legal holiday on April 22, 1885 and is celebrated in every state in America
  • The founder of Arbor Day was J. Sterling Morton. Mr. Morton served as President Grover Cleveland's Secretary of Agriculture
  • Arbor Day is a holiday that encourages people to plant and care for trees