50 TREES street-tree planting program is a citizens’ initiative begun 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 the serious loss of trees caused by Dutch elm disease and drought. Festival-goers could purchase trees for $1 each. Of the thousands they bought and planted, many still flourish to this day.
Tree City USA – A laudable recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation, Kirkwood has held this title since 1992. 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. To date, nearly 750 trees have been planted and more will be added during this year’s one-day planting blitz on Saturday, November 7, 2020.
The great majority of the trees are thriving thanks to the proper species selection, care and maintenance by trained 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 invasion necessitates the removal of many ash trees by the city and by individual owners, this program helps maintain and grow 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. As the primary focus of KKG activities, the 50 TREES program is funded solely by private cash donations.
Additional information? How can I donate? – Your cash donations will go directly toward the purchase of trees, mulch, and supplies for the 2020 planting campaign. For more info about this worthwhile program, how to nominate a planting site, and how to make a donation, view the 50 TREES Brochure – 2020 here.
Questions? Comments? Interested in volunteering? Email us at KeepKirkwoodGreen@gmail.com.