LISLE, Illinois (Sept. 16, 2014) – The Morton Arboretum’s Community Trees Program has approved $211,000 in matching grants for northern Illinois communities within the Lake Michigan watershed to help restore the tree canopy lost to the Emerald ash borer. The grants aim to help communities replace lost trees with a diverse range of tree species that will contribute to clean air and clean water, reduce erosion and storm water runoff, lower energy demands, provide wildlife habitat, and make communities more enjoyable and attractive for residents. The Lake Michigan watershed in Illinois covers portions of Lake and Cook Counties.
The federal grants, administered by the Arboretum, are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry Program and Forest Health Cooperative Program, with money awarded under the USDA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).
Communities receiving GLRI grants include:
- Village of Alsip
- Village of Glenview
- Village of Mundelein
- Village of Niles
- Village of Olympia Fields
- Olympia Fields Park District
- Village of Orland Hills
- Village of Stickney
- Village of Tinley Park
- Tinley Park Park District
- Zion Park District
Grantee communities will match the grant funding on a 35 percent/65 percent basis. To receive a GLRI grant, each community is required to have an emerald ash borer management plan or prepare a plan prior to the end of the grant period.
“Trees aren’t only beautiful, they’re crucial to healthy communities and ecosystems and need to be replaced,” said Lydia Scott, director of the Community Trees Program at The Morton Arboretum. “At a time when all of our area communities are impacted by the loss of the tree canopy due to EAB and when community budgets are stressed, we’re so pleased to administer assistance to these communities and park districts who share our commitment to making the world a greener, healthier place to live.”
About the Community Trees Program at The Morton Arboretum
The Community Trees Program at The Morton Arboretum was established in 2002 with support from the Grace Bersted Foundation. The program’s goal is to help people help trees live long, productive lives, based on the philosophy that all trees, on both public and private land, together form an urban and community forest that is crucial to a community’s infrastructure. For more information on the Community Trees Program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, Fall Color Festival and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes 885,000 visitors annually and receives support from 38,600 member households. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.