Richmond requests that residents participate in a survey in preparation for replenishing the city’s tree canopy.

The city is part of the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute’s 2024 Resilience Cohort to conduct a tree canopy assessment prior to planting and maintaining trees in areas providing the most benefit. Evansville, Warsaw and Elkhart are also participating, according to a news release.

The survey is available in English at and in Spanish at

Laura Karnes is landscape and naturalist leader for Richmond Parks and Recreation, as well as a certified arborist from the International Society of Arboriculture.

“Our tree program has made significant progress, and our partnership with Indiana University is an important step forward. Together with our dedicated community and local stakeholders, we are strategically planting trees in key areas,” she said. “This initiative will help cool our city and protect our residents from the increasing heat.”

Public input will help identify high-priority areas for tree planting, and the city will receive 115 trees as part of the program. A $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture funds the cohort.

Tree canopies help reduce surface temperatures and protect residents from extreme heat health risks.

A McKinney climate fellow from Indiana University will spend the summer supporting Richmond’s efforts by leading community engagement efforts and gathering data to guide decisions.

Richmond previously was selected to participate in the Environmental Resilience Institute’s Beat the Heat program, and Richmond Common Council adopted a resulting Heat Management Plan. The city’s Tree Tenders program began planting trees in areas vulnerable to heat during October 2022.

More information, including a link to the Heat Management Plan, is available online at

Council also adopted a Climate Action Plan to guide responses to climate change impacts. More is available online at

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A version of this article appeared in the June 19 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.