Up With Trees and Its Efforts to Both Beautify Greater Tulsa and Create Urban Forestry Awareness

Jun 8, 2015

On this edition of ST, we present a discussion with Steve Grantham, the executive director of Up With Trees. Started in 1976, this local nonprofit, as noted at its website, "has been faithful to its mission to beautify greater Tulsa by planting trees and creating urban forestry awareness through education.... In the last four decades, [Up With Trees has] planted over 30,000 trees at more than 500 sites throughout Tulsa. We plant along streets and trails, in parks, schools, fire stations, neighborhoods, and many other public properties.... We not only plant, but we maintain more than 20,000 trees throughout greater Tulsa. We work to ensure that trees are pruned, watered, and replaced if severely damaged. This ensures that the trees will continue to thrive for many years to come." Grantham tells us about a newly announced Up With Trees initiative to develop -- over the next year, with input from civic and business leaders, public and private stakeholders, and Tulsa residents everywhere -- a Comprehensive Urban Forest Master Plan for our community. (This planing process will officially get underway at a symposium scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday the 9th, at Central Center in Centennial Park, near 6th and Peoria; other planning sessions will be hosted by Up With Trees in the coming months.) Grantham tells us about this symposium, and about the ideas and practices behind urban forestry more generally. He also talks about a "Tree Walk" that his organization will be hosting -- also tomorrow, the 9th -- in Tulsa's Maple Ridge neighborhood. And finally on our show today, commentator John Schumann remembers a visionary yet rather unknown "medical whistleblower" named Irwin Schatz. Dr. Schatz died in April at age 83, and he was -- per his New York Times obituary -- a "rare critic of [the infamous and decades-long] Tuskegee Syphilis Study."