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Forestry

Elizabeth Dean Trust Fund

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The Elizabeth R. Dean Promenade on Main Street from E. Huron Street to William Street 

History

In 1964, Elizabeth R. Dean willed nearly $2,000,000 to a trust fund to support the public trees of Ann Arbor, the interest from which would be used to "repair, maintain and replace trees on City property, perpetually.” 
 

In 1965, the Elizabeth Dean Fund Trust supported its first project, the planting of trees in ​the promenade on Main Street from E. Huron Street to William Street.  This section of Main Street where the specialty grocery store Ms. Dean’s father owned, Dean & Co., is now officially known as the Elizabeth Dean Promenade. The promenade was rededicated on April 7, 2000 and a plaque recognizing Ms. Dean's generous gift to the city was placed on the concrete planter on the northeast corner of Main and Liberty Streets. ​

The Dean Fund Committee

In 1969, the Ann Arbor City Council formed a Dean Fund Subcommittee to suggest uses for the fund, including the proposed formation of a special tree care crew. By 1975, the Dean Fund Committee was formally established.  

The Dean Fund Committee is responsible for making recommendations to Ann Arbor City Council on spending the annual interest income earned by the Elizabeth Dean Trust Fund.  The Committee reviews project proposals and oversees Dean Fund expenditures for each fiscal year. Administratively, the Dean Fund annual operating budget (based on annual interest income) appears as an independently managed fund within the City of Ann Arbor’s Public Works- Forestry Division budget.  City of Ann Arbor residents interested in serving on the Elizabeth Dean Fund Committee should complete a Boards and Commissions application and submit to the Mayor's office for consideration.  

Each year the Dean Fund Committee allocates the annual interest income towards tree planting and tree maintenance activities. Project proposals are submitted by citizens, staff, merchants, neighborhood associations and special interest groups, and are reviewed by the Dean Fund Committee. Criteria are used to evaluate these projects, based on the degree of benefit to the entire community.  If you would like to submit a project idea to the Dean Fund Committee, please download the Dean Fund Committee Proposal form below. 

The Dean Fund Committee encourages donations of matching funds for special projects, when possible, to allow its funding to have greater civic impact.  Such cost-share projects have been undertaken with the Downtown Development Authority, the University of Michigan, the Downtown Kiwanis Club, and the city's Park Development Division via park millage funds.

Dean Fund Committee Meetings

The Dean Fund Committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month.  Please check the City's Event's Calendar for the most up-to-date meeting information.  

Systems Planning Unit
301 E. Huron St.. 
734.794.6320 
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