Blog written by AmeriCorps service member Tyrah Cobb-Davis, after conducting an interview with Kimberly.
Nashville lost thousands of trees in the March 3 tornado, and then thousands more a few weeks later in the terrible derecho storms. TSU professor Kimberly L.Triplett, Ph.D., of the Chandler Grove neighborhood of Hermitage, mourned the canopy loss but cheered up when she heard about replanting opportunities. Kimberly says she wanted to do something to help, and decided to apply for the Neighborhood Planting Captain program in the hopes of bringing trees to Hermitage. Tree damage from the derecho storms in her area was very expensive, Kimberly said, so she and the neighborhood were grateful for the opportunity to replant for free.
When asked about her experience as a Neighborhood Planting Captain, Kimberly shared that it was a really great way to go out and meet people in her neighborhood — people who shared her concerns about the loss of trees and who also cared about a healthy environment in Chandler Grove. This allowed Kimberly to build more of a relationship with her homeowner’s association and community members. She brought years of experience in community outreach to the task — from projects she was involved in as a little girl to her adult years of volunteering with the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.
Although this is a highly unusual time, Kimberly says that the timing of recruiting her neighbors for trees actually worked out great, since her neighbors were picking up new household projects and trying to keep busy while staying home. She has always known about the importance of trees, but got to learn more specifics about different species and the practice of “right tree, right place.” Kimberly is especially excited for her new Kwanzan cherry trees in her own yard!
She encourages others to apply for the Neighborhood Planting Captain program, especially those interested in learning more about their community and beautifying their neighborhood. At the end of our conversation, Kimberly shared: “On behalf of the community, thank you to the Root Nashville campaign and the Cumberland River Compact for making this a possibility for communities to plant trees!” You are very welcome, Kimberly, and thank YOU for all your organizing efforts. Planting in Chandler Grove will take place on Sunday, November 8 from 1-4 pm.
Participants in the Neighborhood Planting Captain Program work with Root Nashville to greenify their neighborhood with free 1-inch caliper trees. The captain’s role is to recruit neighbors to participate, and to gather information about where trees will be planted. Want to become a Neighborhood Planting Captain yourself? Stay tuned for the next application, within this planting season of October 2020 through March 2021.