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Detroit Zoo: Detroit Zoological Society Commits To Planting 2,000 Trees

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The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is taking another step on its way to the green journey with a large reforestation initiative. To combat climate change and its effects, the DZS has committed to planting a total of 2,000 trees at its sites and – in collaboration with ReLeaf Michigan – in communities across Metro Detroit for 2021 and 2022.

“We have only just started planting and we have made wonderful strides toward that goal,” said Gerry Van Acker, Chief Operating Officer.

The average tree takes in 48 pounds of carbon dioxide and 1,673 gallons of rainwater each year. Adding hundreds of trees to Detroit Zoo’s existing 7,000 population will make a big difference to the surrounding communities by helping improve air and water quality. Trees and other vegetation also reduce the heat island effect (urban areas with above average temperatures) by providing shade. According to the EPA, shaded surfaces can be 20 to 45 ° F cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded surfaces.

Trees, especially native species like dogwood, also provide shelter and food for birds, insects, and small mammals like squirrels. These animals then distribute the seeds of the trees and let new saplings grow. “We meticulously select a variety of species that add value and biodiversity to our campus and focus on trees whose cuttings are great snacks for the animals that live at the Detroit Zoo,” said Van Acker.

In order to educate and strengthen others, the DZS will offer opportunities to “go green” on its Facebook page during Earth Week (April 19-23). Visitors to Detroit Zoo can attend GreenFest on April 22nd, presented by DTE Energy, the DZS’s annual Earth Day celebration. Guests at this event learn how to cultivate their own green spaces and can take home seedlings and pollinator seeds.

This press release was produced by the Detroit Zoo. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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Dusty Kennedy