Legacy cities throughout the Midwest and Northeast must deal with the difficult problem of vacant and contaminated land coupled with rising costs of infrastructure necessary to reduce sewer overflow events as well as and declining populations and tax base to pay for the necessary cleanup and infrastructure. To help solve these problems, Fresh Coast Capital plants hybrid poplar and other species on vacant and/or contaminated land in a public-private partnership contract structure with cities and land banks. Currently, Fresh Coast has three operational working landscape tree farms and anticipates operational farms in at least seven cities by the end of 2016. We are launching various aspects of this business model in select cities for future scaling within these cities and throughout the region, including working with future land developers and including “working landscape” tree farms as part of citywide greening plans. Future scaling for phytoremediation as a scalable business model will also be discussed.
This project is supported by an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-68005-30407 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).