Groundwork Cincinnati - Mill Creek, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the City of Cincinnati and Paul Hemmer’s Sand Run Nursery & Preserve launched the Mill Creek Freedom Trees Program in November 2004, at a tree planting event and press conference on the banks of Mill Creek in Northside (Grove #1). Groundwork Cincinnati - Mill Creek planted the second Mill Creek Freedom Trees site (Grove #2) in 2005, on the east side of Mill Creek, between the river and Interstate 75, and between Mitchell Avenue to the north and Clifton Avenue to the south. In 2006 two local schools designed and created (Grove #3) and (Grove #4) through their participation on Groundwork Cincinnati - Mill Creek's Environmental Education Program.
The Mill Creek Freedom Trees Program is an exciting and challenging urban river reforestation effort with the following major goals:
To plant 10,000 four-to-eight-feet tall native hardwood trees along Mill Creek and its tributary streams during the next ten years, incorporating native grasses and low maintenance designs.
To celebrate the rich cultural history of the Underground Railroad and its connections to Mill Creek. The river corridor served as a major transportation route for thousands of slaves crossing the Ohio River at Cincinnati. Further, many free blacks and white freedom conductors lived in the Mill Creek watershed, providing life-giving food, clothing, shelter and transportation assistance to fugitive slaves.
To educate and actively engage all sectors of the public in this legacy initiative that will honor the courage and integrity of the everyday Underground Railroad heroes and create a living legacy for future generations – a healthier and more vibrant river with a greenway that supports economic revitalization and an improved quality of life in Greater Cincinnati.
The Freedom Tree program connects our history with our hope for the future. The act of planting a tree is a profound expression of hope and optimism. Planting ten thousand trees along the banks of the Mill Creek is a beautiful tribute to the men, women, and children who walked here, and whose spirit and struggle are celebrated by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
We invite you to join us in this effort! Please visit the Charitable Donations page.
For more information on the Freedom Trees Program, please see Freedom Trees News & Events. If you would like to participate in an upcoming tree planting event, please contact us at 513-731.8400 or email@example.com.