Mpls. mayoral candidate: City should plant more trees

Tree debris along the road and sidewalk Tuesday, July 16, 2013 on the 3800 block of S. 12th Avenue in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Mark Andrew wants to double the number of trees planted in the city every year.

Andrew would direct $500,000 in city money to increase the park board’s annual plantings from 5,000 to 10,000. Without such a program, the emerald ash borer epidemic will devastate the city’s tree canopy, he added.

The plan would also rely on matching funds from businesses and philanthropies and would encourage residents to plant trees on their own yards.

“We don’t have the resources to plant the trees that have been lost. We are losing trees in our city faster than we are able to plant them because of budget constraints,” he said.

Park board commissioners who are backing the former Hennepin County commissioner say the thousands of trees destroyed in the recent storms represent just a fraction of the onslaught expected from the emerald ash borer.

Andrew, president of a green marketing firm, is one of about a dozen mayoral candidates who have registered campaigns with the county.