Fort Wayne, IN—Mayor Tom Henry and Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll joined Friends of the Parks of Allen County and Indiana Michigan Power to plant a ceremonial tree today at the new Rivergreenway rest node located next to the City Utilities Water Filtration Plant. The tree planting symbolized the importance of cooperative partnerships—public and private—when developing and preserving the urban landscape of our city. The annual Great Tree Canopy Comeback is a way that everyone can make a significant, lifelong difference with a relatively small donation of their time, or by funding the planting of a tree.

“The City of Fort Wayne is fortunate to have a nationally-recognized Parks system and community advocates and groups who dedicate themselves to enhancing the quality of life for residents, businesses, and neighborhoods,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “The rebuilding of our tree canopy is an important investment for the future.”

The Great Tree Canopy Comeback is scheduled for 10 am, Saturday, November 1st.  Volunteers of all ages are critical to the success of the event and are encouraged to sign up and help restore the tree canopy. More than 250 trees will be planted in the following parks: McMillen Park & Golf Course, Rockhill Park, Kettler Park, Psi Ote Park, Reservoir Park, Foster Park South, Werling Park in New Haven and Payton County Park.

To volunteer, or to make a donation toward replacing trees, please call Charlotte A. Weybright at 260-348-2871 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You may also visit the link below to enter your name and select a site where you would like to help.

“It’s no easy task to organize a tree planting on such a wide scale, but Friends of the Parks has remained dedicated to coordinating this effort, rallying businesses, neighborhoods and community volunteers to work together with great success,” said Director Al Moll. “Close to 3,000 trees have been planted since 2002 during Great Tree Canopy Comeback events. On top of that, we’ve planted 10,000 trees to combat the loss of 17,000 trees due to the Emerald Ash Borer crisis. Once the trees are planted, they need to be preserved, which is why it was essential to develop a comprehensive urban forest management plan.”

Director Moll summarized the Shading Our City Urban Forest Management Plan, recently approved by the Park Board. The plan was created to provide a framework for ensuring that the trees and forests of our City are appropriately cared for. It is a guide for City staff, landowners, utility companies, developers, and residents to follow when making decisions regarding trees—such as when they should or shouldn’t be removed. The plan is broken into four elements covering all aspects of managing an urban forest: Maintenance and Protection; Planting; Monitoring and Documentation; Sustainability and Management Goals.

Maintenance and Protection--No striking, cutting, tearing, abrading, breaking, removing or otherwise physically mutilating a City tree without authorization of the City Forester. Removal of live trees that pose no safety or liability hazard for the public is discouraged

Planting--Diversify species to ensure the loss of a single species will not fully destroy the visual character of a neighborhood. Plant locally native species where conditions will successfully support them.

Monitoring and Documentation—Continue to track trees that are planted and removed, assess tree damage and debris the critical first hours after any storm.

Sustainability and Management Goals—Reduce pruning cycle to 6 years.

The complete plan can be found at

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