Press Releases

For Immediate Release: Openlands Announces TreeKeepers Course for Spring 2016

March 2, 2016

Brandon Hayes, 312-863-6260,
Tasha Lawson, 312-863-6277,
(Media inquiries only)


***Trainees Take Care of Trees on City Property Throughout Chicago***

(Chicago – March 2, 2016) Openlands announces the spring 2016 course schedule for TreeKeepers volunteer certification. 2016 marks the 25th Anniversary of the TreeKeepers program, which continues to cultivate the city’s urban forest via pruning and monitoring existing trees, as well as planting new trees. These certified volunteers help to ensure that Chicago’s trees flourish both through direct care and also by promoting awareness among residents and local officials about the importance of a thriving urban forest.

Volunteers interested in becoming certified TreeKeepers can do so by attending eight classes in the spring or fall of each year. Spring 2016 classes will be held on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings March 19 through April 12 in Chicago at West Pullman Park, 401 W. 123rd St. The course costs $128. Those seeking more information or wishing to register should visit the Openlands website.

The TreeKeepers course educates volunteers in a wide array of topics including tree biology and identification, soil maintenance, pruning techniques, planting and mulching, and advocacy. Successful graduates of the program pass written and practical exams and go on to assist with tree planting and maintenance across the region, pledging to complete a minimum of 25 service hours within one year following certification.

“Volunteer TreeKeepers fill a specific civic duty to protect and care for trees that are a benefit for all community members,” said Openlands Regional Forester Daniella Pereira. “New TreeKeepers are the eyes and ears on the ground for Chicago’s trees, joining a first line of defense nearly 2,000 people strong who are actively caring for and protecting the urban forest—ensuring an improved quality of life for trees and all of Chicago’s residents.”

Events celebrating TreeKeepers 25th Anniversary will be announced in the coming weeks.

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, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens. For more information, visit

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