West Chicago is joining the Plant Trees for Communities initiative to plant at least 340 new trees in the Chicago region in 2021 to build a healthier urban forest.
The effort involving the seven-county Chicago region and all 50 City of Chicago wards is being spearheaded by the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI), a partnership of more than 200 organizations taking coordinated action to improve the health, diversity and equitable distribution of trees in the Chicago region.
Earlier this spring, the City planted a redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) adjacent to the Fox Community Center. The attractive ornamental tree adds a vibrant pop of color with its profusion of magenta buds that appear to come straight off the branches of the tree, which then turn into clusters of memorable pink blossoms. The fabulous show lasts for approximately two weeks, before the lush green heart-shaped leaves emerge and provide shade throughout the summer before turning a canary yellow for fall interest.
“Trees provide residents with significant benefits to their wellbeing, including cleaner air and water, reduced heat and flooding, and improved mental and physical health,” said CRTI Director Lydia Scott. “By committing to planting and growing trees to maturity, the community is contributing to the overall health of the Chicago region’s urban forest and its residents.”
“We’re proud to be doing our part to build a healthier urban forest in our corner of DuPage County”, said West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda. “Our annual parkway tree-planting program caught the attention of the Canadian National Railroad and America in Bloom in 2019, and awarded West Chicago a matching grant of $25,000 for its spring parkway tree planting program. We planted approximately 160 trees that year.”
Mayor Pineda is equally excited about the partnership with CRTI which provides participating communities with planting and care instructions, a tree owner’s manual, and supportive services, and the tree will be identified by a commemorative tree tag. “It’s great to be part of something that elevates the quality of life – body, mind, and spirit – for all our residents and visitors,” he added.
A Proclamation to bring greater awareness to the City’s support of the Plant Trees for Communities initiative will be presented at an upcoming City Council meeting.
To learn more about and to donate to the Plant Trees for Communities initiative, visit ChicagoRTI.org/TreesForCommunities.
About Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI)
The Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) is a partnership for coordinated action to improve the health, diversity, and equitable distribution of trees in the Chicago region, to benefit people and communities. Established in 2013, it is the largest initiative of its kind in the United States. Founded by The Morton Arboretum, CRTI brings together more than 200 partners from industry, community, and government organizations with a comprehensive plan to lead regional action for trees through 2050. For more information: ChicagoRTI.org.