More than 14,000 trees have been planted through
the NeighborWoods program!
What is NeighborWoods?
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc.’s (KIB) mission is to unite people to beautify the city, improve its environment, and foster pride in the community. Through NeighborWoods, KIB will replenish the Indianapolis tree canopy by planting 100,000 trees over the ten year period of 2007-2017.
NeighborWoods Application for Your Neighborhood or Community Group
Indianapolis faces significant challenges to its environment and its residents’ quality of life. Environmental stressors are many. Recent reports in the Indianapolis Star have highlighted significant challenges to air quality, including the 9th worst US urban area for airborne particulate matter. Recent IUPUI research puts Center Township’s tree canopy at 15%; American Forests, a national non-profit leader in urban forestry issues, recommends 25% canopy cover for urban residential areas. IUPUI research demonstrates a 25% loss of tree cover in Marion County between 1962 and 1993, the equivalent of 20 square miles of woodland.
Trees Make Good Neighbors
Trees help reduce crime. Research shows that trees help to reduce crime and foster safer, more sociable neighborhoods. In an inner-city neighborhood, the greener the residence, the lower the crime rate. Residents reported fewer violent crimes and property crimes in green neighborhoods as compared to those that were barren.
Trees clean our air and water. There is up to a 60% reduction in street level particulates with trees.
Trees reduce energy costs: Properly placed shade trees can save an average of $250 annually in energy costs.
Trees improve our health and well-being. Exposure to even small amounts of trees reduces mental fatigue. School children with ADHD show fewer symptoms if they have access to natural settings. Reduced air pollution from the presence of trees helps to ameliorate respiratory problems, such as asthma—the leading serious chronic illness among children.
Trees increase property values. Large, mature street trees are found to be the most important indicator of attractiveness in a community, and can increase property values up to 20%.
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.
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.
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.
How can you get involved?
Consider organizing a NeighborWoods tree planting in your neighborhood! KIB will provide you with doorhangers to present to your neighbors, which will give them an opportunity to request trees for their homes or to get involved as volunteers. Then, fill out the simple NeighborWoods application or you can contact us for mail delivery at 264.7555. We need a minimum of only 20 trees to organize this planting with you!
Volunteer to plant trees around Marion County! KIB hosts tree plantings and preservation projects almost every Saturday from April – November. Become an Indy TreeKeeper and join in the experience of planting and taking care of trees with other Indianapolis residents.
Donate! Consider making a financial contribution to Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. and NeighborWoods!
Why Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc.?
KIB has a proven track record of 30 years of partnership with neighborhoods, the public sector, local philanthropists and corporate Indianapolis. Each year, KIB supports an average of 500 community improvement projects with 30,000 volunteers. Since 1995, KIB has helped its neighbors plant more than 18,000 trees, and has been supported by more than one-thousand individual donors towards those efforts.
Founding Sponsors: Indianapolis Power & Light Company, Veolia Water Indianapolis
In Partnership with the City of Indianapolis
NeighborWoods 2009 Major Sponsors:
- Roche Diagnostics Corporation
- The Kroger Company
- USDA Funds
- Indianapolis Colts, Inc.
- St. Luke's United Methodist Church
- W.C. Griffith Foundation
Honorary NeighborWoods Chairs: Senator Dick Lugar, Meg & Jim Irsay, Gerald Bepko, Christel DeHaan
NeighborWoods has been developed with the support of a technical group of forestry, public health, public works, public safety, community development, academic and environmental experts.