Mott Foundation grant to help plant hundreds of trees in Flint

Tree saplings with burlap wrapped roots.
Photo: iStock/Greenseas

Flint, Michigan — The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation granted $140,000 to the Genesee Conservation District to plant 250 trees throughout Flint’s nine wards over the next two years.

Tree planting will begin in the spring, with a goal of planting 200 in the first year. Planting sites will be based on multiple factors, such as residents’ interest, the presence of overhead wires and streetlights, the availability of trees from nurseries and the salt tolerance of those trees.

Angela Warren, administrator at the GCD, invites residents to request a tree to be planted in the grass strip between the sidewalk and curb in front of their house. She’d also like to hear from neighborhood groups that would work with GCD to plant multiple trees in their neighborhoods. Residents may contact GCD via email at

“The benefits of a vibrant urban forest are numerous,” Warren said. “In order to maintain a healthy urban canopy, new plantings are an essential part of the equation. A healthy canopy reduces the amount of heat and humidity in a community, makes city streets more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, and even lowers the average driving speed.”

Last year, the Mott Foundation granted $208,579 to GCD to remove more than 330 dead and dangerous trees throughout the city of Flint. Those were city-owned trees located in traffic islands, medians, and between sidewalks and curbs.

“During our Focus on Flint community conversations, residents expressed concerns over problem trees in their neighborhoods. So it was great to see so much progress on tree removal over the past year,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “But residents also told us they wanted to see new trees planted, and we’re happy to support that, too. We hope the trees will contribute to the beautiful and vibrant neighborhoods Flint residents want and deserve.”

Since 2015, GCD and the City of Flint Street Maintenance Department have removed more than 3,900 street trees and trimmed over 1,600. GCD planted 600 street trees and 2,400 trees in public parks and other green spaces during the same period.

Today, there are approximately 26,000 street trees in Flint, and there’s still work to be done to remove those that are dead and dangerous, as well as to plant new trees throughout the city.

Residents can contact the City of Flint Street Maintenance Department at 810-766-7343 to report trees suspected of being dead or dangerous, or to request that a tree be inspected, pruned or have its canopy raised.