St. Patrick’s Day will take on a special meaning this year as a time to celebrate the wearing of the green but also to make the city a little greener, too.
As a way to help Metro Louisville expand its tree canopy, Councilman Brandon Coan (D-8) has announced Planting O’ The Green, an initiative to plant 88 trees during the week leading up to this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and 364 trees over the next four parade cycles.
“In honor of this year’s 44th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Planting O’ The Green partners and I are planting 44 trees in District 8 and 44 trees in District 1,” said Coan. “Next year, we’ll plant 45 trees in District 8 and 45 trees in another Metro Council district, and so on. I believe this pay-it-forward approach is the only way to solve our citywide tree problem, and I hope Planting O’ The Green becomes a tradition for many years to come.”
The Councilman made the announcement with Councilwoman Jessica Green (D-1) and representatives of Brightside, MSD, Olmsted Parks Conservancy, TreesLouisville, Bellarmine University and the Ancient Order of the Hibernians on Monday.
“I am pleased to be part of this effort because we all know trees are important to all of our neighborhoods. Trees bring us closer to nature and remind us of the beauty that can be found on any street or corner. What better way to celebrate the wearing of the green than making sure our community is a little greener,” said Green.
In District 1, 44 trees will be planted at Farnsley Middle School, led by Planting O’ The Green partner Trees Louisville.
“TreesLouisville is thrilled to be a part of the Planting O’ The Green project,” TreesLouisville Executive Director Cindi Sullivan said. “We applaud Councilman Coan and Councilwoman Green for sharing our vision of a healthier and more livable community for current and future generations through a robust community tree canopy. Collaborative projects like this one are an excellent, strategic means to plant trees that will benefit students at Farnsley Middle School, the neighborhood residents that utilize the walking path we will be shading, and all Louisville residents.”
In District 8, 24 trees will be planted in Cherokee Park, led by the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and 20 trees will be planted on neighborhood streets in Deer Park and Tyler Park, led by Brightside. Additionally, Brightside is organizing an extra effort to pick-up litter after the parade, led by students from Bellarmine University.
“What a great opportunity to work with such an impressive group of public and private partners to help grow and sustain Louisville’s urban tree canopy,” said Olmsted Parks Conservancy President Rachel Kennedy, “As you know the Conservancy’s mission is to connect nature to neighborhoods within the nationally significant network of Olmsted Parks and we cannot think of a better way to do this than partnering with Metro Council and other nonprofits to green our neighborhoods and parks this St Patrick’s Day.”
“Brightside is thrilled to join with Metro Council, Ancient Order of Hibernians and community partners on this new community beautifying event,” Brightside Director Gina O’Brien said. “Keeping litter off the streets and trees in the ground are two pillars of Brightside and we love that this event focuses on both.”
John O’Dwyer, President of the Father Abram J. Ryan Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, reflected on the meaning of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the impact of Planting O’ The Green.
“We strive to open the spring season each year with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, often called the People’s Parade, and it is a time for fun and community. Now we are turning the Greenest Parade into the greenest parade as the next evolution of this charity event give back to our fine city,” O’Dwyer said. “Partnering in the Planting O’ The Green initiative will have lasting impact for generations to come. It will increase recycling on Parade Day and improve our tree canopy year-round. The Hibernians are proud to lead the way in being charitable and improving the environment.”
The 44th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Saturday, March 11. For more information about Planting O’ The Green and related activities during the week leading up to the parade, contact Councilman Coan’s office at 574-1108.