Milwaukee celebrates Arbor Day as Tree City USA for 43rd consecutive year

NOW: Milwaukee celebrates Arbor Day as Tree City USA for 43rd consecutive year

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Mayor Cavalier Johnson and other community leaders are leaving Milwaukee a little greener than it started this morning.

Johnson proclaimed Friday, April 29 as Arbor Day in the city of Milwaukee. 

Green Tech Station on the city's north west side became the hub for celebrations.

"This is actually my first time coming here, and so, I'm really, really impressed," Johnson said.

Green Tech Station used to be a brown, polluted space near 31st Street and Capitol Drive. Local organizations are turning it into a green, eco-friendly space. 

Community organizations planted 26 trees in the park on Friday.

The park is across the street from Hope Christian School. Fourth graders joined the mayor to learn more about trees. 

"Just like many of you kids here, newly planted trees need time to grow in order to reach their full potential," Johnson said.

Students took trees home to be planted in their back yards.

After spending time with local community organizations like Nearby Nature Milwaukee and Mequon Nature Preserve, the fourth graders know exactly how to care for their trees. 

Milwaukee cares for about 200,000 trees, and because of that, the city was declared Tree City USA for the 43rd consecutive year.

"We're proud of this tradition in Milwaukee, and remain committed to maintaining the city's street trees," Johnson said. 

More than 400 trees have already been planted at Green Tech Station since the transformation started.

"This is our small contribution to basically clean up a brown field and actually bring trees, which do nothing, but help the environment and help us all," Northwest Side Community Development Corporation Executive Director Willie Smith said. 

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