50 TREES street-tree planting program is a citizens’ initiative conceived in 2010 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the annual Greentree Festival in historic Kirkwood, Missouri, founded in 1858 . By rekindling the mission of the first festival held in 1961, this program helps replenish the population of trees that graces the city’s historic streets and avenues. The festival was begun to call attention to the value of the city’s trees and to help reverse the serious losses caused by Dutch elm disease and drought. Festival-goers were able to buy trees for $1 each. Of the thousands that were purchased and planted, many still flourish to this day.
Tree City USA – A laudable recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation, Kirkwood has held this title for over 28 years. The city continues to benefit from the foresight of citizens and officials in the early 60’s, and from her citizens today who donate their time, talents and resources to help sustain the urban tree canopy through the annual 50 TREES planting campaign. Since the 50 TREES program began in 2010, volunteers have planted over 500 trees, with more to be planted this year during the one-day planting blitz on Sat, Nov 3, 2018.
The great majority are thriving thanks to the care and maintenance by trained 50 Trees volunteers who water, prune and mulch them as needed. Many of the trees are identifiable by yellow tags showing the species ID and the year they were planted. Because the Emerald Ash Borer threatens to cause major loss of ash trees once it arrives in the region, this program becomes all the more important in helping to sustain Kirkwood’s street-tree population.
Keep Kirkwood Green was founded in 1994. A grass-roots organization, its mission is to preserve, protect, and enhance the greenspace of the historic, yet modern, community that is Kirkwood, Missouri. Currently the main focus of KKG activities, the 50 Trees program, is funded solely by private cash donations and proceeds from beverage sales at KKG’s booth at the Greentree Festival. Come visit Booth #47 during the festival – Sept 14-16, 2018 – to nominate a site for a tree or to join our group of volunteers.
Additional information? How can I donate? – Your cash donations will go directly toward the purchase of trees, mulch, and supplies for the 2017 planting campaign. For more info about this worthwhile program or how to make a donation, view or download the 50 TREES Brochure – 2017 for details (updated brochure is coming soon).
Questions? Comments? Interested in volunteering? Email us at KeepKirkwoodGreen@gmail.com.