Franklin has long been known and admired for its tree-lined streets. But the city soon might be known for another arboreal asset, an urban forest.
Over the next five years, the city plans to plant about 3,500 trees native to Indiana in an area devastated by the 2008 flood. During next year’s first phase, more than 1,200 trees will be planted in the area south of downtown where more than 50 houses once stood.
The trees will provide shade for the people who walk on trails beneath them, inspiration for artists who want to paint them and information for local students who study them, Franklin resident Jim Crane said. He helped develop the idea and campaigned for it with city officials.
The city will plant the trees as part of an urban forest project that will cost about $26,000 and will turn about 12 acres of mostly empty land between Nineveh Road and Center Street, south of South Street, into a wooded area. Most of the homes that once stood on the land were torn down as part of the federally funded flood buyout the city conducted after the homes were severely damaged in the flood.