Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) and RETREET launched the Miami Valley TREEcovery Campaign, as part of a multi-year effort to heal the landscape devastated by the Memorial Day 2019 tornadoes.
RETREET provides disaster relief to communities on a local, national, and international level by leading volunteers in restoring decimated urban environments. The Miami Valley TREEcovery Campaign addresses one of the most overlooked parts of the recovery process. Over the last few years, this effort has helped plant over 400 large trees at 153 homes across the Miami Valley as well as in Sinclair Park, located in Harrison Township, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Brookville.
The work in Spring 2023 will begin focusing around the eastern zone of the tornado path. This includes the continuation of planting trees requested by local residents impacted by the event as well as helping to restore the Russ Nature Preserve in Greene County. Gifted to the surrounding community in 2008 by Fritz and Dolores Russ, the Russ Nature Preserve is a jewel in Greene County that attracts countless visitors annually with its playscape, walking trails and beekeeping apiary. On Memorial Day 2019, the preserve suffered severe damage during the worst outbreak of tornados in Ohio’s history, losing most of its mature trees. The neighbors immediately sprang into action, with hundreds of volunteers showing up to clear debris and rebuilding structures. Now, more than three years later, a robust replanting initiative is taking shape to restore this community asset.
The Miami Valley TREEcovery Campaign could not have been possible without the support of numerous partners across the region, including The Dayton Foundation and AES Ohio. These trees, which serve as powerful symbols of hope, reestablish the environmental identity of the Miami Valley, providing shade, energy savings, and a myriad of other environmental and economic benefits for residents, as well as habitat for wildlife. The Miami Valley TREEcovery Campaign has become a major environmental and infrastructural investment that will leave a legacy for generations to come.
The next large-scale planting will take place April 28-30, 2023. For more information on the Miami Valley TREEcovery Campaign or to register as a volunteer for the planting, please contact Elizabeth Baxter, Manager of Disaster Recovery & Economic Development Planning, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit RETREET’s website.