Press Releases

For Immediate Release: Openlands Announces Opportunities to Enhance Neighborhoods with Tree Plantings and Trainings

September 22, 2015


CONTACT: Brandon Hayes
(Media inquiries only)


*** Openlands TreePlanters Grants Provide Communities with Free Trees***

***Openlands TreeKeepers Learn to Care for Trees***

***Volunteer Opportunities to Plant Trees in Chicago***

(Chicago – September 22, 2015) This fall, Openlands partners with organizations and communities throughout the Chicago region to provide opportunities for people to plant and care for trees, receive free trees, and become certified to care for trees. The Openlands TreePlanters Grant provides communities with trees along streets, in nearby parks, and in front of homes. Held at three locations—The Morton Arboretum, Garfield Park Conservatory, and Lake County Forest Preserves—the TreeKeepers® program trains and certifies volunteers in proper tree care and planting, vital to the health of any tree. To learn more or to register for the course, information is available at the Openlands website.

“Not only do TreeKeepers plant trees,” said Anne Rozmin with the Manor Garden Club in the Ravenswood Manor Neighborhood, “but they educate the homeowners about biodiversity, the benefits of proper mulching and pruning, and share their sense of camaraderie and mission. I feel lucky to participate in the program."
City trees or urban forests clean the air, cool city streets, reduce energy costs, and fight climate change. “A recent study conducted in part by the University of Chicago found that adding 10 trees to a city block offered benefits to individuals that were equivalent to a $10,000 yearly pay raise,” said Openlands Regional Forester Daniella Pereira. “Areas with more trees were found to reduce the number of heart conditions, cancer cases, mental health problems, and people with diabetes.”

However, 13 million trees are being lost in the Chicago region due to the infestation of emerald ash borer, a foreign exotic beetle that kills ash trees. “The Openlands TreePlanters grant gives neighborhoods the ability to jump start and diversify the future urban forest,” said Pereira. “We want all Chicago communities to experience these benefits no matter what their income is.” To learn more or to apply for the Openlands TreePlanters Grant, information is available at the Openlands website.

Chicago’s West Woodlawn neighborhood is a recent beneficiary of the Openlands TreePlanters grant and community members also participated in Openlands TreeKeepers courses. “The morning our first 40 Openlands trees arrived was one of my happiest days ever,” said Naomi Davis, President of BIG (Blacks In Green) in West Woodlawn. “We love Openlands for this gift, and for the TreeKeepers course scholarships, too. We're excited to explore what's possible in transforming blight to beauty over the decades with our inner city arboretum."

2015 Fall Urban Forestry Events Schedule

Fall 2015 TreeKeepers Course

In Chicago:
Wednesdays and Sundays, September 30 - October 21
Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago, 60624
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 8:30pm
Sundays, 9am - 1pm
Program Cost: $120

At Lake County Forest Preserve:
Wednesdays and Saturdays, September 30 – November 7
Edward L. Ryerson Welcome Center
21950 N. Riverwoods Rd., Riverwoods, 60015
Wednesdays, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Saturdays, 1pm – 4:30pm
Program Cost: $120

Tree Plantings

McKinley Park Tree Planting Day
September 23, 2015, 9am-1pm
2210 W. Pershing Rd., Chicago, IL 60609

Join us to plant trees throughout McKinley Park! McKinley Park is one of the first parks in the nation to provide social services as well as recreational spaces within a neighborhood. In 1902, 10,000 people attended the park's dedication! You will be supporting green space in a historic neighborhood as well as contributing to Chicago's urban forest.

Hyde Park Tree Planting
September 26, 2015, 9am - 1pm
Corner of E. 54th and S. Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60615

Join us to plant trees in Hyde Park! We are maintaining our urban forest by replacing ash trees lost to the emerald ash borer. Learn how to plant trees while beautifying your neighborhood green space and creating sustainable habitat for wildlife.

Ravenswood Manor Parkway Tree Planting Day
October 10, 2015, 9am-1pm
4626 N. Manor Ave., Chicago, IL 60625

Join us to plant trees in the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood! Many of the older, majestic trees in this neighborhood have been lost due to the emerald ash borer. This event is part three of a three-part planting; a total of just over 50 new trees will be planted! Learn to plant trees and help maintain the urban canopy of Chicago while creating habitat for various species of plants and birds.

19th Ward Tree Planting
October 17, 2015, 9am – 1pm
10400 S Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60643

Join us to plant trees in the Beverly neighborhood! Learn to plant trees and help maintain the urban canopy along one of the busiest streets of Chicago, Western Avenue.

Pullman Tree Planting
October 24, 2015, 9am – 1pm
London Towne Houses Co-op, 830 E 100th St., Chicago IL 60628

Join Openlands to plant trees in the North Pullman neighborhood! This event is part two of a two-part planting where a total of 70 new trees will be planted! These new trees will provide habitat for urban wildlife and beautify the green space of the neighborhood.

Beverly Tree Planting
November 7, 2015, 9am – 1pm
Corner of S. Seeley Avenue & W. 101st Place, Chicago, IL 60643

Join us to plant trees in the Beverly neighborhood! Learn to plant trees and help maintain the urban canopy of Chicago.

Francis D. Hayes Park Tree Planting
November 14, 2015, 9am – 1pm
Francis D. Hayes Park, 2936 W 85th St., Chicago IL 60652

Join us to plant trees in Hayes Park! Learn to plant trees and help maintain the urban canopy of Chicago.

Tree ID Walks

Tree ID Walk at Garfield Park Conservatory
Friday, October 9, 2015
Hours: 10 am-12 pm
Cost: Free
Learn about city trees throughout the seasons with Openlands’ Regional Forester, Daniella Pereira. She will explore the trees of beautiful and historic Garfield Park. Interested children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required. Please dress appropriately for the weather – walks take place rain or shine.

About Openlands

Founded in 1963, Openlands is one of the nation’s oldest and most successful metropolitan conservation organizations, having helped secure, protect, and provide public access to more than 55,000 acres of land for parks, forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens. For more information, please visit

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