Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

Great Tree Canopy Comeback: Volunteers Needed

On Saturday, October 20, Friends of the Parks of Allen County invites citizens to partner with area parks departments, businesses, neighborhoods, and community volunteers to plant new trees in parks and public spaces during the 17th annual Great Tree Canopy Comeback.

After planting over 2,500 trees across multiple parks since its inception, the GTCC has accomplished its original goal. This event will be evolving to include invasive species removal to sustainably continue forest regeneration in all parks around Allen County. To combat invasive species like Honeysuckle, Autumn Olive and Callery Pear, among others, this year’s event will include diverse volunteer opportunities. The four different volunteer categories include: “Planters” in groups of five people planting trees; “Tree Captains” to lead groups of “Planters”; “Cutters” to remove invasive plants; “Couriers” to transport the debris to a designated disposal area.

Volunteers of all ages are critical to the success of the event and are encouraged to sign up and help restore the tree canopy. More than 200 trees will be planted in the following parks this year: Franke, Vesey, and Justin Study parks in Fort Wayne, along with Klotz Park in New Haven and Fox Island.

Volunteers are asked to register in advance by emailing, or download the signup form at and mail it to P.O. Box 10152. T-shirts will be given to volunteers who pre-register by October 7, while supplies last. Volunteers need to bring gloves, shovels, rakes and a wheelbarrow (if possible). Participants should also dress for the weather, as the work will be completed rain or shine.

BACKGROUND: This event was established in 2001 to combat the critical loss of trees in Fort Wayne and Allen County. Over the last 50 years, area parks have lost over 50% of the tree canopy due to weather and disease. Friends of the Parks invite the community to partner with area park departments, other businesses, neighborhoods and community volunteers to fund and/or plant new trees in our parks and public spaces.