TreesLouisville, Inc. and Jefferson County Public Schools
Campus Tree Canopy Enhancement Program
TreesLouisville has initiated a groundbreaking partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) virtually creating mini arboreta across the Louisville community. Beginning in the 2015 fall planting season, TreesLouisville has helped fund and manage the planting of hundreds of trees of a diverse selection of species the majority of which will be of significant landscape size, on 10 JCPS campuses including Doss High School, Frederick Law Olmsted Academy North, Indian Trail Elementary, J.F. Kennedy Montessori, Kenwood Elementary, Maupin Elementary, Medora Elementary, Rutherford Elementary, Shacklette Elementary, Unseld Early Childhood Learning Center and Watson Lane Elementary. These schools are in areas that have been targeted by the 2015 Urban Tree Canopy Assessment as canopy deficient.
TreesLouisville is a 501c(3) dedicated to a more livable and healthy community for future generations through a robust tree canopy throughout Louisville. TreesLouisville is raising the public awareness of our tree canopy deficit and planting trees today in places of greatest need.
The JCPS system consists of 150 schools and over 100,000 students. It is the 27th largest school system in the nation and comprises over 2300 acres in Louisville. The Campus Tree Canopy Enhancement Program will provide immediate benefit to the school students and neighborhoods while setting the stage for further campus projects contributing to Louisville’s long term livability.
There are four major areas of focus for these plantings: existing walking paths that are used by students, teachers, and neighborhood residents, playgrounds, and parking lots. These areas will have a direct impact on the health of the students by creating learning environments with connections to the natural world and by providing ecosystem services of air quality improvement, storm water management, wildlife habitat, and noise level reduction. Another area that will be targeted for smaller sized tree plantings are the naturalized areas, or “no-mow” zones. These urban reforestation sites will help reduce emissions from mowing and will help combat the urban heat island effect.
TreesLouisville will lead a team of partners providing student education, inventory procurement, contract planting, staking, mulching, watering, volunteer tree planting and maintenance events, and long term care.
The project will provide short and long term health and quality of life benefits for the students. They will grow along with the trees, gaining an innate appreciation for natural areas and the environment. The surrounding neighborhoods will become more positive, healthier communities and Louisville at large will improve with an enhanced tree canopy. With a goal of reaching 10-15 new school campuses annually and with on-going maintenance, this project fits well into TreesLouisville’s mission of having an immediate impact in areas of greatest need that results in life long benefits for future generations.