Lori Gummow, executive director of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, planted trees to further restoration in New Orleans last week during the annual Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Conference attended by affiliates nationwide.
“By planting these trees, we help renew the tree canopy; by expanding community greening initiatives, we restore our entire economy,” said Gummow. “Damage to 70 percent of New Orleans’ urban canopy (100,000 important trees) by Katrina created an urgent need for reforestation and made the city an ideal location for this year’s meeting.”
Affiliates reinforced KAB’s emphasis on community restoration by planting trees in the western New Orleans neighborhood of Pigeon Town.
“Renew – Restore – Regrow” was the theme of the meetings this year, and conference sessions focused on sustainable gardens and tree maintenance, furthering Keep America Beautiful’s national “g.r.o.” initiative started in 2010 to train and educate local organizations in practices for restoring community green spaces. In-depth training included, in part, the planting and care of trees.
“The transformation of public spaces impacts our environment as well as human behavior,” Gummow said. “Advocating for the urban forest truly impacts productivity, property value, safety, health and infrastructure savings.” For more information, visit www.knib.org or call (815) 637-1343.
From the Dec. 14-20, 2011, issue