Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
December 12, 2019

John Kost, left, and Barry Johnson, citizen foresters for the nonprofit group The Greening of Detroit, plant a tree in the Osborn neighborhood in Detroit in 2016. Photo by Carlos Osorio/AP.

Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

John Kost, left, and Barry Johnson, citizen foresters for the nonprofit group The Greening of Detroit, plant a tree in the Osborn neighborhood in Detroit in 2016. Photo by Carlos Osorio/AP.

John Kost, left, and Barry Johnson, citizen foresters for the nonprofit group The Greening of Detroit, plant a tree in the Osborn neighborhood in Detroit in 2016. Photo by Carlos Osorio/AP.

Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

Detroiters were refusing city-sponsored “free trees.” A researcher found out the problem: she was the first person to ask them if they wanted them.

by Brentin Mock for CityLab

A landmark report conducted by University of Michigan environmental sociologist Dorceta Taylor in 2014 warned of the “arrogance” of white environmentalists when they introduce green initiatives to black and brown communities. One black environmental professional Taylor interviewed for the report, Elliot Payne, described experiences where green groups “presumed to know what’s best” for communities of color without including them in the decision-making and planning processes.

Read more on this story at CityLab.

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