For Greener Neighborhoods, Milwaukee Planting Trees In Vacant Lots

Mayor Says Trees Don't Conflict With Redevelopment Plans

MKE_railscenes (CC-BY)

Milwaukee marked Arbor Day, Friday, with tree planting events, including some in abandoned and vacant lots.

Milwaukee has hundreds of properties where a fire, a foreclosure or lack of reinvestment dollars have left just grass or dirt. On some city-owned vacant lots, Milwaukee is planting trees. But Mayor Tom Barrett said it doesn’t mean the city is giving up on redevelopment.

“We’re choosing carefully. We’re still hopeful for a lot of development, but there are some places where we’re just making the decision to strengthen the neighborhood by having more tree coverage,” Barrett explained.

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Barrett said city crews will care for some of the trees, but sometimes it will be neighbors or community groups helping out. The emerald ash borer is putting some of Milwaukee’s ash trees at risk, prompting other species to be planted in some areas.