On Saturday, volunteers did their part to beautify their neighborhood by planting trees with the help of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB).
The planting took place on the medians on west 10th St. from Interstate-465 to the railroad bridge west of Ben Davis High School from 9 a.m. to noon.
Jerome Delbridge, an arborist with KIB, said tree plantings like this are one the organization’s many projects.
“We have many environmental and beautification programs,” he said. “We build parks, have litter cleanups, and this is part of the program called NeighborWoods. This is our initiative to plant 100,000 trees in Marion County.”
Since starting the initiative in 2006, Delbridge said the organization has planted about 35,000 trees.
Over the summer, Joe Smoker, who is the project organizer for this specific planting, contacted KIB to bring a NeighborWoods Program to the area.
“You identify a project and then I contacted Jerome and KIB and gave them the idea and he met me out here in maybe May or June,” Smoker said. “… We discussed the project and he was able to put in the grant, the application, and get everything going and he scheduled (the planting). Aside from the massive effort you see today, it’s months of organization and a lot on their part to try to get people out and get things going.”
Other than aesthetically pleasing, he added the trees serve a multitude of benefits.
“They actually calm the traffic, so people have a sense of what they’re going by,” Smoker said. “They realize they’re speeding and probably get closer to the actual speed limit and make things a little safer for pedestrians and other motorists. The environmental benefits, it will help aid in storm water runoff and the shade actually protects the pavement in both summer and winter helping it last a bit longer.”