OUR VISION AND RESEARCH
Trees for Healthier, Stronger, Safer Neighborhoods
Our Vision: Increased tree plantings will result in increased tree cover, decreased crime and incivility, cleaner air and water, a better business climate, and higher property values.
Trees will contribute to a culture of ownership, and will build social capital, as the number of neighbors engaged in improving their neighborhoods grows.
Trees will contribute to healthier, stronger, safer neighborhoods where businesses and families thrive.
KIB partnered with IUPUI to map environmental and social challenges in Center Township, which has the least tree canopy of any Marion County township. Criteria that was “layered” included lower than average tree canopy; higher than average impervious surfaces; proximity to industrial plant locations; higher than average traffic counts; and, higher than average rates of childhood asthma. Social criteria included higher than average crime rates, and lower than average income. Six “hot spots,” neighborhoods where most or all of these criteria are met, were identified by researchers, producing very vividly, “hot spots,” where trees and greenspace are most needed.
Concentrated Tree Plantings
KIB will focus on as many as six “hot spots” within Center Township for intensive community tree planting.
Every plantable space approved by government and property owners will be targeted for tree planting to meet a 25% canopy goal in each “hot spot.”
KIB will use computer modeling to measure the environmental benefits of trees that are planted in these neighborhoods, and will work with public safety experts and researchers to measure over time the relationship between the greening of neighborhoods, volunteer engagement and localized crime statistics.
How we will do it
Though KIB will do intensive outreach in “hot spot” neighborhoods, all Marion-county neighborhoods and community groups are eligible to apply for free trees for their neighborhood.
All trees planted are a minimum of 1” caliper in trunk width and are an average of eight feet in height, providing immediate community benefits.
Trees will be planted in public right-of-way, public spaces, and in some, pre-approved cases, residential yards.
To qualify for the trees, groups must commit to watering and caring for the trees for the first three years. A minimum commitment of twenty trees is required. KIB will work with community leaders to provide the tools necessary to engage neighborhood commitment.
More broadly, KIB will promote and facilitate extensive community tree planting throughout Marion County through volunteer projects, tree distribution days, wholesale/retail partnerships, and other avenues.
Looking back at the Hotspot map
A particularly busy hotspot for KIB since 2006 has been the Near Eastside and surrounding neighborhoods. With help spanning from Community Engagers like Sarah Grain, Joe Jarzen, and Tracy Heaton de Martinez to exciting partnerships like the 2012 by 2012 Initiative for the Superbowl, NeighborWoods has planted thousands of trees in this area. Of course all of these trees were planted by volunteers and neighborhoods, and KIB continually relies on passionate residents and businesses to help care for them!
National research demonstrating the positive impact of trees
Landscape and Human Health Laboratory: Read about Dr. Frances E. Kuo's fascinating research on the positive effect of trees on social and environmental health in the inner-city.
Human Dimensions of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening: Read about Dr. Kathleen L. Wolf's research about the relationships between nature and consumer environments, trees and transportation, benefits of trees on human behavior and more!