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Community to Benefit from Planting 10,000 Trees

INDIANAPOLIS- Citizens, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indy Parks, the Department of Public Works (DPW) and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) joined forces today to announce the beginning of a long-term partnership that will forever change the landscape of dozens of Indianapolis neighborhoods. Ten Thousand Trees is an initiative to plant 10,000 trees in support of the city’s consent decree, an agreement with the US EPA to make our waterways cleaner by the year 2025. 

“At Citizens we always seek ways to decrease the amount of raw sewage that overflows into Indianapolis’ rivers and streams,” said Citizens President and CEO, Jeffrey Harrison. “The Ten Thousand Trees initiative offers a unique solution to reduce raw sewage overflows as just one mature tree can store up to 100 gallons of water, keeping excess stormwater out of the combined system, thus reducing overflows. When 10,000 trees have been planted and are mature, the community will reap the benefits of cleaner waterways.”

Trees will be planted in parks and neighborhoods throughout Indianapolis’ combined sewer area. In partnership with KIB, Citizens is evaluating combined sewer areas of the city that will benefit most from additional trees. Among the other criteria being considered is whether or not the area currently has a limited tree canopy and if there are suitable areas available for planting.  

“Trees provide myriad benefits from clean and healthy communities, to safe and beautiful neighborhoods,” said David Forsell, KIB President. “These trees will also give back in the form of jobs for our city’s youth. KIB’s Youth Tree Team will lead community plantings, and help with the maintenance and stewardship of this wonderful addition to the city’s tree canopy. We’re excited about this unique partnership opportunity and look forward to our city reaping the benefits of it for decades to come.”

Once the trees are planted, they will be maintained by Citizens and KIB for their first three years of growth, which is pertinent for long-term survivability and flourishment. After that time, DPW and Indy Parks will own and maintain the trees. 
“The Ten Thousand Trees initiative is an innovative and practical plan, in keeping with the city and Citizens’ commitment to clean up our city’s waterways by the year 2025, ” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “It’s exciting to see public-private partnerships like this, bringing together municipal and non-profit agencies in order to invest in our neighborhoods.” 

The Ten Thousand Trees pilot program began today with the initial tree plantings in Douglass Park. The next phase of the initiative will begin in spring of 2017. Citizens is currently identifying other areas in the combined sewer overflow basins that will benefit from tree plantings in 2017 and beyond. 

About Citizens Energy Group

Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 800,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities only for the benefit of customers and the community. Additional information is available online at Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - YouTube

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