FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 22, 2015
Suggestion Results in City-wide partnership, tree-planting along SW Blvd.
Collaborative tree-planting supports small businesses
Image is everything—especially for small businesses in Kansas City who rely on storefronts to attract and keep customers. This Earth Day, City leaders and community partners joined local small businesses to plant 27 new trees along Southwest Blvd. The collaboration is the result of a suggestion submitted through Kansas City’s Dead Letter Office (KCMOmentum.org) to help small businesses in Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood with the installation of trees. The project is made possible through funding from Kansas City’s fourth-district PIAC (Public Improvements Advisory Committee) budget, Bridging the Gap’s Heartland Tree Alliance, and a grant from the William T. Kemper Foundation. Local business owners will care for the trees through adoption agreements coordinated by the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation. The Westside Housing Organization has also committed to tree adoptions.
“This project is a wonderful example of how our City works together,” said Fourth-District Councilwoman Jan Marcason. “A suggestion has resulted in a City-wide collaboration to support small-businesses and enhance the aesthetics of Kansas City’s Southwest Boulevard.”
The tree planting along Southwest Blvd. is one of several planned downtown streetscape tree improvements. The initial collaboration to improve Southwest Blvd. has grown into a commitment from Kansas City to invest $25,000 in PIAC funding for tree planting as part of the Greater Downtown Area Plan.
“Kansas City believes in the value of strengthening small business,” said Rick Usher, Assistant City Manager. “Local business and community leaders are committed to these streetscape improvements because they share this vision; our staff has been privileged to work with this dedicated group to nurture this idea from concept to implementation.”
Tree planting along Southwest Boulevard took place in conjunction with the celebration of Earth Day, on April 22. Photos of the tree-planting are included for media use.
Media inquiries should be directed to City Communications Director, Chris Hernandez, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 816-513-3474.