Phytoremediation in Muskegon, MI

With support from U.S. Forest Service, Delta Institute is establishing a hybrid poplar tree farm on brownfield sites in Muskegon, Michigan which integrate environmental improvement with community economic development. In 2013, Delta planted 3,000 hybrid poplar trees which are able to take up or stabilize environmental contaminants, like heavy metals, chlorinated solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can find their way into a community’s drinking water. The trees will also reduce stormwater runoff, which the EPA identified as the most important remaining uncontrolled source of water pollution. Once the poplar farm is mature, the trees can be harvested and sold locally, creating economic opportunity within the local community. This project supports Delta’s ecosystem stewardship objective and demonstrates how green infrastructure strategies can yield both environmental and economic benefits to communities and regions.

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