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March 5, 2013

Jeffersonville’s tree plan to spread its limbs

City wants 19-block trail of trees; plantings to start in spring

JEFFERSONVILLE — Another plan under way in Jeffersonville designed to be a highlight to pedestrians and bicyclists is Jeffersonville’s Tree Walk.

The plan was borne out of an idea from the Urban Enterprise Zone to plant trees throughout the city.

Kelly Phillips, UEZ director, said in 2011 a tree inventory in the city was completed and the UEZ committed $40,000 to planting trees in the city. While some plantings occurred at schools and at Memorial Park, a plan was developed to plant trees along the city’s streets instead.

The plan devised was to create a 19-block tree walk, starting near Chestnut and Spring streets, which will veer to Maple Street and run out to Mechanic Street, where it returns to downtown via Market and taking a short jog onto Riverside Drive.

“The idea is within a block [of the Big Four Bridge] you pick up this trail and it takes you 19 blocks trough downtown,” Corbin said. “Tree[s] won’t be repeated and they all have a unique characteristic. There’s a different theme for every block. It’ll be visually pleasing to walk through because you’ll see a lot of different species that you wouldn’t normally see on a street.”

For example, plans call for one city block to be comprised of flowering trees, while another will be have fall foliage trees.

“Instead of going out and planting a bunch of maples somewhere, why don’t we do something with a theme that is an amenity, a tourist attraction or something different,” said Shane Corbin, Planning and Zoning director for the city, referring to the project’s inception. “There [are] parks that have tree walks ... but to have them laid out like this, in different themes per blocks, I think is really unique. [It’s an] extra reason to actually explore a little bit of Jeffersonville; it makes their walk more interesting.” 

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