Growing towards a greener future in West Lafayette
The City of West Lafayette’s Community Forestry and Greenspace program aims to diversify its methods of urban tree planting and landscape restoration projects by constructing a municipal nursery to meet the impacts of the Emerald ash borer. Over the past four years, nearly 1,000 ash trees were removed within the city right-of-way, increasing short- and long-term reforestation needs. Within our park systems, the City continues to remove hazardous ash in forestlands, with reforestation and management plan needs.
In January of 2022, 14.7 acres were donated to the Foundation to preserve agricultural land as greenspace and be the future home of the municipal nursery. Located off IN-26, just west of Purdue University campus, construction of the municipal nursery will begin in late 2022 and continue into 2023. The nursery will be comprised of tree nursery fields, a propagation greenhouse, and hoop houses. The greenhouse will not only grow trees but native plants for parkland restoration projects.
Founded in 1981, West Lafayette Tree Friends was established with the adoption of the original West Lafayette Trees and Landscape Ordinance. This voluntary organization was formed to plant shade trees along public streets of the city and is supported by voluntary contributions and is run by volunteers, with support from city staff.
Tree Friends' founder, Helen Lillich, was an educator and passionate community member, determined to develop tree canopy and greenspace within our community. Lillich even grew trees in her backyard as a way to plant more trees in West Lafayette. Her vision inspired the West Lafayette Tree Friends to launch their most ambitious project celebrating their 40th anniversary--developing a tree nursery! This expanded capability will allow the organization to lower costs and plant more trees in our community. In partnership, the Foundation has joined efforts to support this project, which will significantly impact the Parks and Recreation Department.
Funds are currently being raised to go towards site preparation for stormwater management, native prairie plantings, and a maintenance barn. Contributions towards the nursery project will support these initiatives to get the nursery off the ground. Donate today!