Field of Flags, Tree Flags That Is
If you drive past the Shadeland and English interchange, you will notice hundreds of tiny white flags flapping in the breeze. If you look closer, you will see each one is labeled with the name of a tree species. It is a sign of the immense impact volunteers will have on Thursday, September 29 for the Lilly Global Day of Service.
Lilly employees will be planting 964 trees at the currently barren interchange. While the volunteers will do the heavy lifting on the day of the project, there is an immense amount of preparation that goes into a planting of this size. This week the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Community Forestry team has been using the site plan, designed by Blue Marble, to place all 964 flags where each tree will be planted. Tools we use include, stakes for site lines, spray paint wands, the flags and most importantly our stride for pacing out 30’ here or 18’ there.
There is measuring and re-measuring to make sure trees are correctly spaced and one by one each flag is dropped and the ground marked with an X. Once the Lilly crews arrive on Thursday, they will move the trees from pods and match them up with the species on the flags.
It takes a crew of four KIB employees about 4.5 days to get all the flags in the ground. Fortunately, we have 800 volunteers to actually plant the trees. They’ll knock that out in less than eight hours.