As part of a grant with Canadian National Railroad, new trees will be planted across Highland Colony Parkway.
As part of a grant with Canadian National Railroad, new trees will be planted across Highland Colony Parkway.
More than 300 trees will be planted along the Highland Colony Parkway by the city of Ridgeland with a grant from the Canadian National Railroad.

Aldermen unanimously authorized Mayor Gene McGee to enter an agreement with CN railroad for the “Plant the Parkway” project last week. The agreement includes grant monies from CN in the amount of $25,000 to be matched by the city.

The funds come from the railroad through the CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up, a community grant program of CN and America in Bloom.

McGee said the city’s portion would come from the tree mitigation fund, which currently holds about $40,000.

The city’s share breaks down into trees at $5,900, installation at $15,450 and mulch at $3,650. The railroad’s portion will all be spent on the trees.

The project consists of 309 Willow Oak, Southern Red Oak, Nutall Oak, and Crape Myrtle trees to be planted along the Highland Colony Parkway from Old Agency south to County Line Road.

“The trees planted by this project will have the ability to absorb as much as seven tons of Co2 annually,” Jordan Lohman, city planner, wrote in the project application.

He also mentioned that the trees are “native shade trees” and will help lower the surface temperature of the road by casting shade on the pavement. The tree species were selected for their long life spans.

The agreement says that the project was carefully crafted and will be executed by crews from the city’s Public Works Department and the Keep Ridgeland Beautiful Committee.

Trees will be maintained by the city.

McGee said that they hoped to get the project started shortly after the paperwork is signed, though no start date has been announced at this time. The project is expected to last about six months.