“Opt-out” plantings

SOUL is working in partnership with The Department of Parks and Parkways to employ an opt-out strategy that lines contiguous blocks of the city with native, water-loving trees. Using this method we planted over 450 trees in a 10-square block footprint in Old Algiers last year, and close to 250 trees in the Broadmoor and Hoffman Triangle neighborhoods. We are committed to reforesting the entire city, and this opt-out method is the most effective way to do so.

The steps:

  1. SOUL hosts a community meeting where a map of the neighborhood is presented so that a planting footprint can be identified.
    • Community members suggest areas where they notice a lack of canopy and would like to see trees.
    • Preferences of species to be planted are most welcome at this point.
    • We sincerely want the neighborhood to be happy with the trees being offered, and would like as much community participation in the project as possible
  2. SOUL assesses the planting area, choosing the best species for each location. We take into account all of Parks and Parkways guidelines, including the size of the planting area, the presence of utility wires above, and whether there is already a precedent for a certain species in the neighborhood. 
    • We like to plant the largest trees possible when we can, as the bigger the tree the more eco-benefits the community receives in terms of shade, carbon sequestration, flooding mitigation and more.
    • SOUL only plants native, water-loving trees that have been approved by Parks and Parkways for street-side planting.
  3. SOUL marks the locations of future trees with a white X on the right-of-way, and leaves flyers on the doorsteps of homes to alert residents to our planting plan.
  4. SOUL then notifies property of the planting date, the number of trees that would be planted in front of their home, and the species by mail.
    • Homeowners will have several weeks to decide if they wish to opt-out of the planting. Questions and requests to opt-out can be made by email, phone call, text or by mail.
    • All opt-out requests will be honored.
  5. During this time SOUL will complete all necessary permitting with Parks and Parkways, as well as all utility companies
  6. SOUL will then purchase the trees, organize our volunteers, and go plant the trees! We will outfit each tree with a weed-eater guard (to protect the trunk from lawnmowers) and a water bag. SOUL assumes the responsibility of watering the young trees for one year until their roots are established.