"One of Boise's core values is our long-standing commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability," said Judy Lassa, Boise Vice President. "Project UP embodies our beliefs as an organization in the importance of giving back to the communities where we work and live to preserve our natural resources for future generations."
Planned in partnership with the Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees) and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. (KIB), Project UP's inaugural park features more than 40 plants and trees and high-density composite benches made from recycled paper. In October, a unique shade structure created using re-purposed fabric from the RCA Dome will put the finishing touch on Highland Vicinity Park. Saturday's event featured more than 50 community volunteers from Boise Inc., KIB, People for Urban Progress, ACTrees and residents of the Highland Vicinity neighborhood.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard proclaimed Saturday "Project UP Day" in Indianapolis, recognizing Boise® and its Project UPTMpartners for their beautification efforts, while City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability Director John Hazlett addressed the event and praised Project UPTMfor its decision to fund Highland Vicinity Park's transformation and its project partners.
This event served as the unofficial kick-off to ACTrees' program, National NeighborWoodsTMMonth, of which Project UP is a sponsor.
Project UP will begin the selection process for future park locations in early 2012.
About Project UPTM
Founded by Boise® in 2011 as an extension of the Boise® ASPEN® brand of recycled papers, Project UPTMunlocks community potential by transforming distressed urban spaces into revived areas for relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation.
A portion of the proceeds from select Boise® ASPEN® recycled paper product sales supports Project UPTM, which is part of the company's ongoing commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability.
Why Urban Parks?
Restoring urban spaces is a critical source of community pride, creating jobs and spurring neighborhood business growth. Studies have shown that tree-lined streets and pocket parks in city business districts encourage shoppers to spend more than 10 percent more for goods and services. Neighborhood parks also help cut energy, pollution and infrastructure costs for the inner city and can boost property values by 5-10 percent or more.
"Creating an urban park is one of the best investments a city can make in terms of cost versus return-oninvestment," said Matt Hostetler, green space director for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. "Often, these sites are neglected and overgrown - inviting littering, illegal dumping, or worse. With the help of programs like Project UPTM, these little used or undervalued areas are transformed into community assets - green and beautiful places that encourage community pride and add value to neighborhoods across the city."