Tuesday December 11, 2012
An evaluation of the condition of existing trees in the downtown area revealed that there are over 300 dead trees or empty tree wells in the Louisville’s Central Business District (boundaries are the Ohio River to the north, Hancock Street to the east, York and Jacob Streets to the south, and 9th Street to the west).
The Louisville Downtown Management District (LDMD), with the help from a $40,000 MSD grant, a $5000 Metro Government grant, and a $5,000 donation from local businessman and philanthropist Henry Heuser, Jr., has launched an aggressive tree replacement project aimed at planting 166 trees in the Central Business District in the coming weeks.
Funds from Henry Heuser, Jr. will provide for the removal of old stumps and the soil for the new plantings, the grant from Metro Government will provide for tree well preparation and the grant from MSD, which is part of their storm water mitigation project, will cover the cost of the new trees. City Arborist Mark White has determined what types of trees will be planted.
Planting began this week and will be completed by the end of 2012. The Bob Ray Co, has been working to remove stumps and drill the holes for new trees to be planted, and Action Landscape will plant the trees. As part of the grant requirements from MSD, LDMD has committed to maintain the trees for the next seven years, which includes providing watering and pruning services.
“Research shows that trees attract customers and encourage them to shop longer, draw new businesses to the area, increase marketability of property, promote physical health, increase job satisfaction, improve pedestrian comfort and security, decrease crime rate, reduce utility billing by shading buildings, calm and slow traffic, reduce pavement maintenance, improve air quality in often polluted downtown areas, and reduce noise and glare,” says LDMD Director of Operations Ken Herndon.
“In addition to providing an aesthetic benefit, helping to cool the urban landscape, and enhancing air quality, trees provide MSD ratepayers the benefit of absorbing rain water through foliage and root systems. Studies have shown a single mature tree can potentially reduce the storm water runoff by thousands of gallons in a typical rainfall year. Downtown, this rain water would go to the treatment plant or be stored in a large overflow basin, so the trees give us an efficient, cost effective tool to reduce overflows and meet EPA commitments,” says MSD’s Regulatory Services Director, Brian Bingham.
In addition to initiating and maintaining the tree replacement program, LDMD’s Clean Team scours the Central Business District six days a week, fifteen hours a day to ensure that downtown remains clean and attractive. Additional beautification services include maintaining 200 flower pots along the sidewalks, power-washing, gum-busting, sweeping sidewalks and alleys, and graffiti and weed removal. For more information, log on to www.ldmd.org or call (502) 583-1671.
The Louisville Downtown Management District (LDMD), Kentucky's first, was established on August 27, 1991 to promote the economic, residential and cultural vitality of the core of downtown. Its mission is to promote the neighborhood's quality of life by creating a safer, cleaner and more enjoyable environment.
LDMD is a vocal advocate for Downtown, working with property owners, government agencies and elected officials to secure needed support and resources for neighborhood improvement. The District has defined boundaries and is supported with assessments paid by district property owners.
The Board of Directors is comprised of business and property owners, residents, community representatives and government officials committed to striking a balance between development and community enrichment. For more information, visit www.ldmd.org or call (502) 583-1671.