Revitalizing Detroit Through Urban Reforestation

What is the quickest way to revitalize a dilapidated and beaten-down city? Start planting trees. This process is called urban reforestation. Urban reforestation is, simply, planting trees in urban environments for the purpose of city beautification and renewal, improving air quality or replacing urban trees that may have been destroyed by a natural disaster such as a hurricane or blizzard. That is what volunteers are planning to do in Detroit.

Detroit Financial DistrictIn the article “Tree Plantings Aim To Boost Detroit Revitalization,” CBS Detroit  reports, “The Greening of Detroit begins its annual spring plantings Saturday, aiming to put the first 300 of about 2,500 trees in the ground by mid-June.” Detroit, like many Rust Belt cities, has suffered much over the last fifty or so years. The relocation or failure of many industries has created high crime rates and a sense of urban plight. Such Rust Belt cities are in need of rejuvenation and many see urban reforestation as a way to accomplish it.

Officials and citizens are hedging their bets on urban reforestation, if the recently released Detroit Future City plan is any indication. According to the plan, in a few decades, empty ghost town-like neighborhoods will become lush paradises. Vacant buildings and dead ends will be covered up in green.

Perhaps urban reforestation is the remedy for the Rust Belt’s decaying urban sprawl. Imagine the scene – a sea of green trees emerging out of the red rust, forests springing to life before our very eyes. Just the mere thought of it makes you feel better about life. Maybe trees are nature’s antidepressants after all. Is that what the Rust Belt needs? What do you think?

Interested in doing a bit of “reforesting” of your own? Contact Cold Stream Farm!

For information on Detroit’s urban reforestation, you can find the CBS article here.

*Image courtesy of Mikerussell