The We Are Here to Plant team reached into the community this past weekend assisting others involved in community-based events designed to effectively engage the public, erase geographic boundaries, and participate in fun outdoor adventures –all while providing important neighborhood assets that increase our city’s livability. Assisted by a Keep America Beautiful grant, approximately 120 volunteers planted 60 shade trees in a newly developed residential area sited on the former home of the old Municipal Stadium. Municipal Stadium was home to the fabled KC Monarchs and thereafter, the Kansas City Athletics, baseball teams.
Kansas City, Missouri councilman John Sharp, Black Economic Union President Chester Thompson, Jr., and former KC Monarch ball players addressed the crowd about the historical significance of the site, the sustainable housing initiative, and the importance of community coming together over simple, yet strong ideas of betterment.
Shortly after Wendy Sangster, urban forester with Missouri Department of Conservation instructed the group on proper tree planting techniques, volunteers stormed across the neighborhood in a furious attempt to plant 60 trees before impending severe thunderstorms forced a rainout. Due to the collaborative efforts of many, including the Donnelly College International Club, most trees went upright before the umpire issued the warning to, “drop your shovels and run for you lives!” which, happily, in this case, meant seeking shelter inside a neighbor’s carport and beginning the celebratory cookout 30 minutes ahead of schedule.