Tree Planting at Other Hand Farm
Wed., May. 10, 2023
By Amanda Wood, Urban Community Forester
Once called the Forest City, Cleveland has been lacking in trees for years. Our tree canopy is at 18% and is projected to decline to 14% by 2040 unless we do something about it. Part of our efforts at Holden Forests & Gardens is to not only educate folks on why we should plant trees, but also support communities by planting different demonstration trees in their neighborhood that people can learn from in person.
What a better time to do a tree planting than in honor of Arbor Day! Arbor Day originally started in Nebraska in 1874 by J. Sterling Morton’s love and passion for trees. It continued to spread throughout states until 1970 when President Richard Nixon declared it a national holiday.
Holden Forests & Gardens partnered with Great Lakes Brewing Company and Other Hand Farm, a local community garden pin Cleveland’s West Side, to plant six trees on Other Hand Farm’s property. Through this, Great Lakes Brewing Company is aiming to expand their support of various small farms and what a better way than to plant some edible trees.
While the trees will ad beauty to the space, they are also edible as part of the farm’s goal of providing local food to the community. Eastern redbud flowers can be used to make jelly, apple serviceberries are a tasty blueberry alternative, and magnolia flowers can be pickled for a nice floral, gingery snack!
Other Hand Farm is a small urban farm in the middle of Cleveland’s West Side, part of the EcoVillage Garden. The EcoVillage, located at 1957 W 57th Street, is a protected green space that was started by three neighbors during Cleveland’s urban agriculture initiative. The Garden was inherited by its current owners in 2018 and the current urban farmers address food insecurity in a food desert and use a total of 12 different plots to feed neighbors through a “Pay What You Can” farm stand.
On Monday, April 24th, volunteers from Great Lakes Brewing Company gathered to learn how to plant a tree before getting their hands dirty. It was a lovely day of tree, laughter, and fun despite the rainy start! We were able to get all the trees in the ground in record time thanks to the hard work of the team. We couldn’t have planted these trees without the wonderful help of Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Green Team and Other Hand Farm. Here are some photos from the planting:
All photos taken by Michael Williams from Great Lakes Brewing Company.
Thank you to Rooted in Trees for funding this tree planting.
Urban Community Forester
Amanda Wood advocates awareness of the value of forests and trees in cities. Leading community forestry outreach through workshops and practical field experience, she promotes the social, environmental, and economic values of trees and forests to communities in northeast Ohio. She has 5 years of experience in community forestry in the private and non-profit sector throughout the Midwest.