Grosse Pointe City seeks donations to increase tree planting

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 24, 2022

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — Residents and others who’d like to see more trees planted in Grosse Pointe City are being asked to donate funds to make that possible.

Rick Whitney, chair of the City’s Urban Forestry Commission, said that the City has lost more trees than it has had the money to plant over the last 20 years, which is one of the reasons why the community’s once lush, leafy canopy is more sparse these days. He said the charge of the volunteer Urban Forestry Commission is to find ways to increase the number of trees in the community.

“We’re trying to raise awareness and raise more money to get more trees planted,” Whitney said during a July 11 Grosse Pointe City Council meeting.

Whitney planned on conducting a new tree survey of the City this summer, to see where numbers are at now.

Grosse Pointe City has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the nonprofit National Arbor Day Foundation for the last 36 years, and it has received the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Growth Award for the last 11 years. It’s one of only 12 communities in Michigan to receive a Growth Award. And, as a Sterling Tree City USA — for 10 or more years of Growth awards — the City is one of only seven communities in Michigan so honored, Whitney said.

Still, Whitney said they need to keep working on rebuilding their tree population.

“There’s a lot more that needs to be done,” Whitney said.

The City — as well as Grosse Pointe Farms and Grosse Pointe Park — will be getting a helping hand from the nonprofit Grosse Pointe Farm and Garden Club. In honor of the Grosse Pointe Farm and Garden Club’s 90th anniversary in 2022, the group is donating funds to the City, Farms and Park to allow for the planting of a total of 90 trees among the three cities this fall. Whitney said this gift “will make a big difference” in the cities.

City Councilwoman Maureen Juip quoted from a Grosse Pointe Farm and Garden Club flyer when she said, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

Juip said she was happy to see that the City was maintaining its infrastructure and focusing on things like tree planting.

“The investments we’re making looking ahead … that’s the kind of thing that makes Grosse Pointe a great place to live,” Juip said.

Anyone who’d like to support tree planting in the City can make a tax-deductible donation through the City’s nonprofit Grosse Pointe City Foundation. Whitney said donors should indicate that their gift is for the City’s Urban Forestry Commission.

Donations can be dropped off at City Hall or mailed to City of Grosse Pointe Foundation, 17147 Maumee Ave., Grosse Pointe City, MI 48230.

For more information or to make a donation online, visit