Take part in our pledge to plant 5000 trees by 2025!

As part of our Forests for Clean Water program, HRWC has joined our “Forests to Mi Faucet” program partners with a goal to plant over 60,000 trees by 2025 (with the DNR planting 750,000 trees). Forests to Mi Faucet is a state-wide effort sponsored by the DNR Forest Stewardship Program to raise awareness about the importance of forest protection to clean water; help water utilities create and implement source water protection plans; connect forest landowners with opportunities to assess, protect, and manage their properties; and, create the building blocks for an ecosystem services market, or exchange, to fund forest protection and stewardship for clean water, carbon storage, recreation, habitat, and a host of other services provided by nature.

Why is a “Water”shed organization so interested in forests? Forests (and other natural lands like wetlands and grasslands) soak up polluted runoff, buffer rivers from floods, prevent soil erosion into rivers and streams, and keep waterways cool with their shade. This is why protecting forests is so important to clean water, especially drinking water. One study of 27 water utilities found that for every 10% increase in forest cover in a watershed behind a water supply intake, treatment costs decreased by 20%. (study by the Trust for Public Land and the American Water Works Association)

For those of us living in Ann Arbor or parts of Scio or Ann Arbor townships, this relationship directly effects our drinking water. Ann Arbor gets 80% of its drinking water from Barton Pond. This means that what happens in the Huron watershed upstream of the pond impacts the amount of treatment needed to make the water not only drinkable, but drinkable enough to win awards for taste. In fact, the national Forest to Faucet program found that the Huron River watershed scored 96 out of 100 for its importance to drinking water.

Residents of Dexter, Milford, Pinckney, Chelsea, and many other municipalities are just as dependent on forests to keep their water clean and reduce treatment costs. These municipalities draw water from municipal wells, which also have watersheds upstream.

Spring Tree Sale 2024Here is how you can participate in keeping our drinking water clean: plant trees!

Though the Forests to Mi Faucet program, HRWC is covering discounts on riparian species through the Oakland Conservation District’s Spring Tree Sale (Promo code: HRWC2024) and the Washtenaw County Conservation District’s Spring Tree Sale (Promo code: HRWC2024).

Get 25% off select riparian species Get 25% off select riparian species
Discount code: HRWC2024 Discount code: HRWC2024
Pick up date: May 4, 2024 Pick up date: April 26-27, 2024
CONIFERS American Larch. HARDWOODS River Birch, Common Hackberry, Red Maple, Sycamore, Blackgum. SMALL TREES AND SHRUBS American Hazlenut, Ninebark, Red Osier Dogwood, Redbud Spicebush, Winterberry. LARGER TREES American Elm, Silver Maple, Pin Oak, Tulip Poplar. All discounted species found on HRWC discount page (link below)
Shop for trees from Oakland here Shop for Washtenaw trees here

Sinking Roots for Water

As part of our Forests for Clean Water program, HRWC partnered with other organizations for three tree plantings:

Tree Planting Wixom 2023
Wixom, Gunnar Metala tree planting 2023

  • Gunnar Mettala Park, Wixom. HRWC installed bioswales at this site as well in 2023 (partner: City of Wixom)
  • Dexter neighborhood 2023 (partners: ReLeaf Michigan and the City of Dexter)
  • Ypsilanti Township 2022 (partners: Washtenaw County Conservation District and ReLeaf Michigan)

–funding provided by MDNR through USDA Forest Service.

Ypsilanti Township Tree Planting
Tree Planting, Ypsilanti Township, 2022