Louisville, KY – One hundred oak trees are being planted in downtown Louisville this spring as part of Doe-Anderson’s 100th anniversary celebration. The ad agency – in partnership with Brightside, Inc., and the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) – is donating the trees in support of Brightside’s ongoing initiative to expand Louisville’s tree canopy, an important but often underestimated part of the city’s overall health.
“When we began talking about our centennial celebration, we knew we wanted to give back to the city in some way,” said Todd Spencer, President and CEO of Doe-Anderson. “We couldn’t have found a better fit. Doe-Anderson was founded on the belief that the right idea can make a huge impact for our clients. The notion that ‘Giant oaks from tiny acorns grow’ led our founder Elmer Doe to use an acorn in our logo, and so working with Brightside gives us the opportunity to not only bring that to life, but to give back to Louisville in a way the city really needs.”
Spencer is referring to Louisville’s rapidly shrinking tree canopy, a troubling issue that can lead to a multitude of economic and health-related issues for the city and its inhabitants. The change in Louisville’s tree canopy had gone largely undocumented until this March, when Mayor Fischer revealed that Louisville has been losing about 54,000 trees per year. He has since urged citizens and businesses to take action against the decline.
“Expanding Louisville’s tree canopy is a tremendously important part of reducing urban heat island effects,” said Gina O’Brien, Executive Director of Brightside. “We’re thankful that Doe-Anderson has taken such a large stake in our cause, and we encourage other businesses to do the same.”
Earlier this year, Spencer worked with Brightside to identify the city’s most tree-sparse areas and select the variety of oak tree that will perform best in high-stress urban environments. They decided on downtown areas along East Jefferson and in the 9th Street corridor, as well as in vacant tree wells in the business district and on several Louisville Metro Housing Authority properties. The Regal Prince Oak, a columnar-shaped tree with glossy green leaves and bright-yellow fall foliage, was selected for its structure and heartiness. The trees will not only help provide cooling shade, but they will also help reduce rainwater run-off into the city’s sewers. This was a key consideration for MSD, which is helping provide support for the ongoing maintenance of the trees.
“Louisville is our home. We’ve been here for 100 years, and we plan on sticking around for at least 100 more,” said Spencer. “Anything we can do to help our city thrive is an investment we’re more than happy to make.”