Guest blog by Kody Tinnel, Co-Founder of The Tree Canopy Growth Fund


A green revolution is taking root in Fort Wayne—and you’re invited to be a part of it.

Two years ago, we founded The Tree Canopy Growth Fund with the vision of cultivating greener neighborhoods. Our community embraced this mission, and together we’ve accomplished remarkable projects while inspiring others to value trees as much as we do. The best part is, we’re just getting started.


Get to Know Us

If this is your first encounter with The Tree Canopy Growth Fund, allow me to guide you through our mission. Established in 2022, our organization aims to promote community health through urban tree planting and advocacy.

Fort Wayne has faced significant canopy loss in recent years due to a variety of factors including development, disease, and severe weather events. We know that a healthy tree canopy provides numerous benefits. Trees not only enrich the environment but also play a vital role in enhancing human happiness and well-being. Beyond these aspects, they provide a spectrum of advantages—environmental, aesthetic, practical, and financial—rendering them an invaluable asset to our community.

The Tree Canopy Growth Fund strives to make trees accessible to diverse segments of the community, fostering partnerships and participating in tree giveaways, planting projects, and community events. Our commitment extends beyond increasing the quantity of trees; we aim to cultivate a shared understanding of the invaluable role trees play in fortifying our community’s well-being.


Growing the Canopy Together

In our first years, we have executed impactful projects such as a planting initiative at Headwaters Church and along the Pufferbelly Trail with the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. We’ve also organized tree giveaways at EcoFest Fort Wayne in 2022 and 2023, spreading green joy across the community.

One of our most exciting initiatives is the “Shading Our Children Project,” a collaboration with Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS). Having planted 30 native trees at Covington Elementary last fall, we’re doubling down this spring with an additional 100 trees at Covington and Deer Ridge. Our grand goal is to plant a total of 500 trees on SACS campuses in the coming years, and we invite you to join us on this green journey.


Supporting the Cause in 2024 and Beyond

Looking ahead, we have exciting plans for 2024 such as additional planting rounds at SACS school campuses, tree giveaways in partnership with neighborhood associations, church campus tree planting projects, and another EcoFest Fort Wayne giveaway in May. We’re also stepping into the digital realm by developing an online tree inventory to map the impact of our work.


Watching the Future Grow: The Joy of Planting Trees

The most rewarding aspect of our work is witnessing the community’s excitement about receiving or helping plant trees. We eagerly anticipate many years of watching these trees grow and transform the spaces they inhabit, creating a legacy for generations to come.

If you share our passion for community health and green spaces, we invite you to connect with us. Visit our website,, to learn more about our work and how you can contribute through charitable donations or volunteer time. We’re excited to connect with anyone interested in helping grow the tree canopy in Allen County.

Great things unfold when a resolved community unites with a shared purpose.



Kody Tinnel is a lifelong Fort Wayne resident with a passion for making our community the best it can be. He co-founded the Tree Canopy Growth Fund in 2022 with Derek Veit, who shares a passion for all things trees. Aside from tree work and his day job in human resources, Kody serves on a variety of local boards and committees and spends as much time as he can enjoying all that Fort Wayne offers.