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Greening of Detroit aims to create 600 jobs with reforestation grant

The Greening of Detroit has received $300,000 worth of grants that should enable the Corktown-based nonprofit to plant more than 2,000 trees and create abut 600 jobs for young people in the Motor City.

"The trees have the ability to stabilize neighborhoods and reduce crime," says Dean Hay, director of green infrastructure for the Greening of Detroit. "They can also, when properly planted, shrink your energy bills."

The reforestation grants will also help the Greening of Detroit combat storm water runoff and other environmental hazards that can harm the Great Lakes basin. The trees help soak up that rain water, preventing sewage overflows during heavy rain storms or accidental run-off of fertilizer or toxic substances into waterways.

The Greening of Detroit received a $50,000 grant for Detroit Green Connections Project, which will allow the nonprofit to hire 10 young adults to plant 600 trees and supervise the planting of another 4,200 trees over a two year period. The idea is to help reduce and slow stormwater runoff in the Detroit and Rouge River watersheds.

The Greening of Detroit also received $250,000 as part of the Detroit Reforestation Initiative. The nonprofit will use the money to plant and maintain more than 1,400 trees in Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck to help replace the loss of the trees from the emerald ash borer. The Greening of Detroit expects the new trees to restore 41.98 acres of tree canopy, intercept 1,019,200 gallons of rainfall in the first two years and sequester 2,912 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. A small army of 4,368 volunteers and 600 urban youth employees will help plant and maintain these trees next year through 2015.

Source: Dean Hay, director of green infrastructure for Greening of Detroit
Writer: Jon Zemke

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