What We Do

TreePlanters Grant

TreePlanters Grant


TAKE A WALK around your neighborhood and notice spaces throughout your community that are calling for trees to be planted. As you walk, record the addressesof possible planting locations and/or make a map for your reference.

CONTACT YOUR NEIGHBORS. Personally talk to your neighbors at the identified addresses and get them interested in being part of the process.

INVITE interested neighbors to help you organize.

Apply for the Openlands TreePlanters Grant to plant trees in your neighborhood with your community! The TreePlanters Grant is for Chicago residents who would like to facilitate a community tree planting day in their community with their neighbors.

To be considered for a Spring 2017 (Apr-May) planting, the completed application must be submitted by January 16, 2017. To be considered for a Fall 2017 (Sep-Nov) planting, the completed application must be submitted by June 15, 2017.

This grant is for Chicago residents who would like to facilitate a community tree planting day with their neighbors. By engaging neighbors, local businesses and organizations, the applicant will identify locations for 10 to 30 trees to be planted, as well as volunteers interested in planting them. Planting locations must be in the city of Chicago and on public land. Public land is considered to be the parkways between the curb and the sidewalk in front of residential houses, CPS school property, and some vacant lots. We will no longer accept proposals that are solely for planting in Chicago Parks. All plantings must fall within walking distance a few blocks or less of each other; please understand that this is a community engagement and education opportunity and we need the community to be together. Openlands will facilitate a few events with each community receiving the grant including a site visit, the community tree planting day, and annual community maintenance events for the following two years. Not all applications will be able to receive a grant.



  • Gather neighbors and volunteers to participate in the community tree planting day and the post-planting maintenance days. These events give an opportunity for the local community to work and celebrate together.
  • Be sure your neighbors who would like to receive trees understand they will be committing to adopting the tree for the long-term and are expected to participate on the tree planting day in some way.
  • If you are receiving a tree in front of your property, your neighbors will help you plant it and, in turn, please help your neighbors plant their trees. 
  • Water the trees for three years. Once the trees are planted, you and your neighbors will be responsible for watering each tree with 20 gallons of water each week, spring through fall, for the first three years.



  • Registration link for community planting day.
  • Delivery of trees and mulch.
  • All tree planting tools and gloves will be provided.
  • Necessary permits and underground utilities marked before the planting.
  • Openlands staff and TreeKeepers will provide training to all volunteers on the planting day.


We look forward to planting with you and your community!



Support for Openlands' Urban Forestry Program is generously provided by The Boeing Company and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

In-kind support provided by


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