Common Council of the City of BuffaloCommunity organizers will gather on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University Heights Tool Library

Buffalo, N.Y. – From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the University Heights Tool Library, lo- cated at 5 West Northrup Place in Buffalo, a group of community stakeholders will come together for “ReTree the District”, a project aiming to plant 1,000 trees across the University District over the next two years. “ReTree the District” will use an interactive community mapping component that will allow members of the community to collaboratively map the district’s existing tree canopy as well as to highlight available planting locations for new trees. This planning phase of the tree-planting project begins on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the University Heights Tool Library. Later throughout the year, volunteers will help to plant the trees. University District Council Member Rasheed N.C. Wyatt shared his approval of the project in saying “These are the types of projects we hope to replicate throughout the district to bring forth unity in University.”

Darren Cotton,
Board Member University Heights Collaborative

Darren Cotton has said that “more than just planting trees, the project also has a variety of engagement goals that are intended to bring a large number of volunteers to the district, encourage a greater level of neighbor- hood connection and interaction, and beautify a district that often suffers the negative effects of neighbor ano- nymity and media stereotypes.” Organizations involved include the Bailey Avenue Business Association, B Team Buffalo, ReTree WNY, St. Joseph University Parish, University at Buffalo, University District Block Club Coalition, University Heights Collaborative, University District Community Development Association, and the University Heights Tool Library. The group will be working collaboratively with the City of Buffalo Division of Parks and Recreation to utilize the City’s existing street tree inventory. Mickey Vertino, President of the University Heights Collaborative, emphasized the community bonding by saying “We’ll be planting a lot of trees, but it’s about more than that, it’s about getting to know your neighbor and working together to build a better community.” Other community leaders agree, including Annie Cheatham, President of the University District Block Club Coa- lition, Inc., who said that “planting of trees in our community removes blight and replaces it with God’s beauty.” President of the Bailey Avenue Business Association, Ibrahim Cissé added, “This is another step of coming togeth- er and reclaiming our neighborhood, instead of waiting for others to do it. Also, it aids in bringing the Heights and Bailey sides together as we are all one community. What goes on in one side impacts the other. We are the East Side; we are the University District.”

This community event is free and Council Member Wyatt encourages members of the public to join. For more information on the ReTree project and its upcoming events, contact University Heights Collaborative Board Mem- ber Darren Cotton at dpcotton06@gmail.com or 716-857-0096.

RE-TREE THE DISTRICT – City of Buffalo (original PDF press release)