A GLI letter to LEO: we do like trees

Dec 14, 2016 at 11:27 am
A GLI letter to LEO: we do like trees

Let’s get serious LEO. GLI is not against trees. In fact Greater Louisville Inc. would like to strongly restate its support of certain initiatives to increase the tree canopy of Louisville. The notion of our organization and its 1,500 member businesses being against things that make our region a more attractive place to live and do business is wildly inaccurate and ridiculous at face.

GLI continues to publicly support, praise and promote incentive programs for business owners to plant more trees on their property, and we will continue to do so. Just this spring I (Kent Oyler) keynoted the Olmsted Parks Conservancy Breakfast and helped raise $50,000 in a single morning to preserve, protect and upgrade our heavily-treed park system, one of our city’s most valuable assets. During the Mayor’s Give-a-Day campaign this past April, GLI employees spent hours in Seneca Park planting trees. And GLI’s leaders continue to communicate and cooperate with the members of Metro Council and the mayor’s administration to identify common-sense solutions to preserve and protect Louisville’s tree canopy. We aren’t just talking about trees; we are working on common-sense approaches to getting more trees in the ground.

Many of GLI’s investors work diligently and voluntarily on greening initiatives: planting trees, investing in green infrastructure and working to improve environmental efficiencies in their daily operations. They do not do this for PR purposes or green washing; they do it because it is the right thing to do for their businesses. Local business leaders live in Greater Louisville along with their customers and employees. They have at least as much skin in the game to make our community the best place to live and work as anyone else living here.

Using the media to draw lines in the sand based on political, economic and social status divides us as a community and does nothing to improve Louisville. GLI’s recent unveiling of the #LiveInLou brand is all about getting more people to move to and stay in Greater Louisville. A strong, skilled workforce tops the priority list of businesses looking to relocate or expand. Within this initiative, quality-of-life is a major selling point for our community. GLI and its investors will continue to work towards improving quality-of-life, along with the competitive business environment needed to grow our economy. And some of our efforts will result in more trees in the soil of Jefferson County.

Kent Oyler President & CEO, GLI Tim Hagerty Chair, GLI’s Environment & Energy Committee