Centennial Trees is a nine-year-old outreach program of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens that educates the community on the importance of planting locally-sourced native tree seedlings in public spaces. Trees selected for the program are determined to be remnants of the original forest as well as part of Birmingham’s natural and cultural landscapes. Thousands of seedlings have been planted in landscapes that lack the capacity to regenerate urban forests, such as parks, river banks, and tornado-damaged areas. Under the direction of The Gardens’ education staff, local volunteers of all ages are inspired to rehabilitate their communities by planting homegrown native tree seedlings. Each step of the process provides the staff with educational opportunities and generate a shared sense of ownership and understanding of urban forest regeneration.

Presenter: H. Hughes, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, Alabama