GRPS schools are going more green. I'm not talking energy wise, I mean real green, as in trees! Lot's and lot's of trees!

Volunteers and the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (Friends) team have planted 75 new trees this month on GRPS property thanks to a grant from the Wege Foundation and the USDA Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Friends has a longstanding partnership with GRPS to plant trees in school yards to combat the devasting effects of the Emerald Ashboer Disease (EAB). Since 2017, Friends and GRPS committed to collaborating with the City of Grand Rapids to plant more than 600 trees on GRPS property to replace these ash trees. It's been a project of love, with many people getting involved in the program to help out.

Let's face it, new trees provide so many benefits, such as increased soil stabilization and erosion control, reduction heat by creating shade, and create a habitat for birds, squirrels and other animals. Trees also offer social benefits, including enhanced recreational opportunities, positive effect on physical and psychological health, an increase in community pride, and higher property values.

Founded in 2008, Friends is an independent, citizen-driven nonprofit with a mission to empower people to cultivate vibrant parks, trees and green spaces in Michigan's second largest city, Grand Rapids. Friends works to mobilize volunteers, generate resources and raise awareness about issues that impact our urban parks and natural systems.

What about you...interested? Volunteers interested in planting trees with Friends can connect via email at or by phone at 616-288-7209.


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