In the spring of 2013, 2014, and 2015, The Greening of Detroit planted over 7,000 trees on eight different Brownfield sites throughout Detroit. The primary purpose of this project, funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), is to remediate contaminated soil using dendroremediation while providing additional benefits including the reduction of storm-water runoff and blight on/around the sites. This project attempts to find a cost effective, low maintenance alternative to soil remediation strategies. For this project, six tree species from the Populus and Salix genus were used in site specific experimental designs testing tree survivability and total soil contaminant removal. Soil sampling on each experimental plot occurred before tree implementation and tissue/soil sampling will occur at the five and ten year mark. These measurements along with yearly growth and health measurements will help determine the effectiveness of this project in relation to soil conditions, contaminants, and tree species chosen.
Diane Nelson has worked with The Greening of Detroit for years on both the dendroremediation project and with vacant lot restoration. She graduated with a Master's degree in Biology from Michigan Technological University with a focus in environmental remediation and had over 5 years research experience in phytoremediation.