Trees for the Next 200 Years

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“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today.”

I was reminded of that saying this weekend for a couple of reasons. First, my daughter Eden turned 20 years old this weekend. It seems like just yesterday when she was a tiny sapling I could cradle on my forearm. Today, she’s a resilient, strong woman who wielded a pickaxe over the summer as she planted trees with her dad.

Second, I recently toured a neighborhood with a Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Tree Tender. He pointed out a healthy copse of trees* that’d he proudly planted five years ago. Then he pointed out some bigger trees he planted 10 years ago, and a few giants that he planted 20 years ago for KIB. He is creating a legacy that Indy residents will enjoy for more decades to come. 

*Fun Fact: a copse is a small stand of trees—like a gang of turkeys or a murder of crows!

The weekend was also special because we celebrated the Bicentennial of the City of Indianapolis by planting 200 trees in Garfield Park. Leaders from Hindu, Presbyterian, Buddhist, Catholic, Pagan, Universalist Unitarian, and Disciples of Christ faiths came together to plant 20 of the trees, symbolizing the diversity of Indy’s community and our interconnectedness with nature. Each shared a short prayer about the common call among faiths to care for the world around us. Mayor Joe Hogsett issued a proclamation, and then helped our Youth Tree Team plant the first tree in the ground. And then the faith leaders paired up, bringing different faiths together to plant a tree in harmony.

Our mission is to engage diverse communities, to help people and nature thrive. Indianapolis is an amazing, diverse city. During these challenging times, it is so important to get out and enjoy nature, and even help create a greener future for folks to enjoy now, and for the next 20 years, or the next 200!

If you belong to a house of worship, and would love to see some more trees, particularly along the street, you can apply for them and we’ll bring them to you! Or, if you and your neighbors would really like more trees along the right of way, we can help with that too. Check out our tree application

Of course, it takes a lot of resources to purchase thousands of trees, train high school students to help plant them through our Youth Tree Team, and for KIB to hire a staff of licensed arborists to make sure over 95% of our trees to survive. If you’re not able to come out this fall and help us plant yourself, please consider making a meaningful gift to KIB to ensure that we can continue to make a difference for the City we all love and share. Please donate.