MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On October 19-20, 2023, 25 students from Johnson Senior High School, Highland Park Senior High School, and Community of Peace Academy, in collaboration with Tree Trust, a Saint Paul-based nonprofit, took tangible steps toward a greener future by planting 206 trees in Saint Paul.
The tree planting event, which took place during the MEA school break, was not only a stride towards a better environment but also a testament to the power of community engagement and youth empowerment. The two-day effort helped revitalize Saint Paul’s urban forest, particularly in areas where the landscape had been impacted by the removal of ash trees infested with emerald ash borer (EAB).
“We love planting trees with young people and teaching skills so they can think about future career paths. It might be finance and it might be a climbing arborist. We want to help them find the path that provides passion and aligns with their values and purpose,” said Tree Trust Executive Director and CEO Jared Smith.
Ward 7 Saint Paul City Councilmember Jane Prince, who spoke at the kickoff, applauded the students for working together to create a legacy. “These trees are going to last for decades and that will be one of your first legacies as you add to our urban forest,” said Councilmember Prince.
The initiative was not merely an environmental effort but also a platform for students to engage in meaningful work and community service, while earning pay. The planting project is part of a larger workforce training program that introduces participants to green industry careers. Participating students have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials such as the Minnesota Tree Inspector Certificate, administered through the University of Minnesota.
“Partnering with Tree Trust to provide Saint Paul youth with environmental job opportunities nurtures a sense of community that will grow as our trees do,” said Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Director Andy Rodriguez. “Strengthening our urban canopy through tree planting not only provides shade and beauty but also serves as a powerful investment in the health of our cities, improving air quality, reducing heat, and fostering wildlife diversity.”
About Tree Trust
Tree Trust, a nonprofit founded in 1976 and based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, focuses on transforming lives and landscapes. Tree Trust accomplishes this mission by providing meaningful opportunities for greening local communities through tree planting and offering youth valuable work skills and experience through practical job training, creating a brighter future of self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.treetrust.org.
CONTACT: Jared Smith, Executive Director | CEO
SOURCE Tree Trust