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Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the City will plant more than 11,800 trees this year in neighborhoods citywide.
“Chicago was one of the first cities in the nation that incorporated planting trees and urban forests into the city’s plan and design, and we’re proud to continue this tradition today,” said Mayor Emanuel. “True to our motto as a ‘City in a Garden,’ tree planting is a vital component of creating and maintaining healthy and vibrant neighborhoods in Chicago.”
To celebrate Arbor Day today, Mayor Emanuel was joined by Alderman Pat Dowell and Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) Commissioner Charles L. Williams to plant nine trees on the 4700 block of S Prairie Ave. The trees planted today will help to maintain the Bronzeville neighborhood’s urban canopy.
To increase the number of trees planted this year in neighborhoods across the City, Mayor Emanuel included an additional $400,000 in the DSS forestry budget. As a result, DSS will plant more than 4,200 trees citywide this year. Additionally, CDOT will plant more than 3,600 trees through various infrastructure improvement projects. The infrastructure projects include: Bloomingdale Trail, Westridge Nature Preserve, Fullerton Shoreline Protection, and many other resurfacing and infrastructure improvement programs. Finally, the Chicago Park District plans on planting 4,000 trees this year.
“DSS will strategically plant trees across Chicago in neighborhoods that have seen a significant amount of tree removals,” said Commissioner Williams. “Through the multi-year plan to protect and invest in the City’s urban canopy, we are able to focus our efforts on planting a diverse tree population, while continuing the important tree maintenance work of tree trimming and removal.”
Between tree planting this year and last year, the City and the Park District will have planted more than 23,000 trees in communities across Chicago. This City is focusing tree planting on neighborhoods and community areas that have seen significant tree removals over the years and are utilizing a diverse set of tree species to enhance and protect the urban canopy.
“CDOT is proud to be a partner in the City’s efforts to expand and increase the health of Chicago's urban forest by planting a diverse mix of new trees in neighborhoods across the city,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld.
For the 33rd year in a row, Chicago was named a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation for continuing to meet core standards of sound urban forestry management. Chicago has an estimated 3.5 million trees on both public and private property, which cover more than 17 percent of the area, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Chicago’s urban forest removes approximately 25,000 tons of carbon per year and about 900 tons of air pollution annually.
If residents have had a parkway tree removed recently and would like to request a new tree to be planted on the parkway, please call 311. To view the full list of trees available for planting on Chicago’s parkway, visit:http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/streets/supp_info/Forestry/Forestry%202013/Chicago_Urban_Tree_Planting_list_2012.pdf