The Jeuns

‘Community and environmental advocates commemorate the planting of 1 million trees’

April 28, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, along with DNR Director Dan Bortner and GSGP Program Director Mike Piskur, recently took part in planting a cucumber magnolia tree on the Statehouse Lawn in Indianapolis. The tree stands as a symbol of a commitment to plant 1 million trees on public lands across the state, a promise made by the Governor four years ago.

The freshly planted sapling may appear sparse now, but it is expected to grow into a majestic presence that will watch over the capital building for generations to come. The ceremonial planting of the one millionth tree, cultivated at Clark State Forest, marked the culmination of this ambitious tree planting initiative.

In his 2020 State of the State speech, Governor Holcomb pledged to plant these trees as a way to enhance public lands in Indiana. Dan Bortner from the Department of Natural Resources recognized the massive effort involved in fulfilling this promise but praised the collaborative spirit of the community in making it a reality.

The chosen tree species, including red oak, white oak, and black walnut, reflect Indiana’s natural biodiversity and were strategically planted in various locations such as state forests, parks, and wildlife areas. This initiative not only aims to enhance the state’s natural beauty but also to leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

Looking ahead, plans are in motion to plant an additional 250 million trees by 2033, as part of a wider campaign led by Great Lakes governors and premieres. Despite the imminent change in leadership due to Governor Holcomb’s term limits, the commitment to tree planting remains strong and will continue to be a priority for Indiana’s future leaders.

The act of planting trees has been a unifying force, with widespread support for the environmental and recreational benefits it brings. Indiana’s rich forest heritage, once heavily impacted by deforestation in the 1800s, has seen significant restoration efforts over the years. Today, the state boasts 4.8 million acres of forestland, including vast expanses across state forests.

The tree planting initiative exemplifies Indiana’s dedication to conservation and sustainability, with a vision to create a greener and healthier environment for all its residents. The success of this ambitious project sets a positive precedent for future environmental endeavors in the region, leaving a legacy of environmental stewardship and community collaboration.

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