Between climate change and invasive pests, there’s increasing pressure on our tree populations.

A nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, Mississippi Park Connection leveraged an MPCA grant — along with a full-time Minnesota GreenCorps member — to build and operate a gravel bed tree nursery as part of its "Plant for the Future" initiative. Rock nurseries give saplings a head-start towards a successful transplant and a fraction of the price of containerized saplings. This pilot project has grown to several rock nurseries readying 15,000 trees selected for climate and pest resistance to be planted in the national park by fall 2021.

A portion of these trees will also take part in the "Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change" project as the nation's first urban version of this program. Research plots are located in Crosby Farm Regional Park in St. Paul and will help answer questions about what species we should be planting now to adapt to climate change.

Described as a "labor of love," this project would not be possible without the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa and Urban Roots.

More information: Plant for the Future