Floosmoor Going Green to Plant Trees with Chicago Region Trees Initiative

Floosmoor Going Green to Plant Trees with Chicago Region Trees Initiative
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Floosmoor Going Green to Plant Trees with Chicago Region Trees Initiative (Flossmoor, IL) — The Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI), the Village of Flossmoor’s partner and benefactor for Plant the Gem, is an organization comprised of communities, individuals, organizations, green industry, businesses and governments working together to develop and implement strategies for a healthier, more diverse, more equitable urban forest in the Chicagoland region. As the largest initiative of its kind in the United States, CRTI leverages funding, knowledge, skills, and expertise to reach the goals of its comprehensive Master Plan.

Through dedicated research and data collection, CRTI has found that Chicago’s regional forest, what it deems as critical infrastructure, a community asset, needs protection and improvement. Trees serve many important purposes from cleaning air and water, and reducing flooding, to saving energy and improving property values. The value that trees provide in supporting habitat for local wildlife and improving quality of life in communities are also key factors in CRTI’s preservation and advocacy efforts.

Because the region’s trees are threatened by many challenges including invasive plants and pests, development, and a lack of funding for planting and proper care, CRTI is working diligently to partner with communities like Flossmoor to encourage widespread tree stewardship and action.

Flossmoor Green Commissioner Tristan Shaw was familiar with CRTI’s work and saw an opportunity for Flossmoor to join the initiative. As a dedicated tree community already, Shaw knew that the connection made sense and felt confident that Flossmoor could host a special project in partnership with CRTI.

When Shaw presented the opportunity to Trinity Pierce, CRTI Stewardship Manager and Certified Arborist, she was familiar with the community and the annual Hidden Gem Half Marathon. Impressed by the community’s commitment to tree preservation, with initiatives like the Free Parkway Tree Program and dedicated Forestry Maintenance Technician, and with the Gem’s ability to recruit an impressive number of volunteers, she saw how the pieces could come together for Plant the Gem.

Thanks to a $30,000 Federal Earmark, made available through the support of Representative Sean Casten, CRTI chose Flossmoor to host what could potentially be one of the largest, single-day tree plantings in the state of Illinois.

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Organizers for Plant the Gem are currently recruiting more than 400 volunteers to plant more than 300 trees, funded by the $30,000 Federal Earmark, along the race route of the Hidden Gem Half Marathon. Using donated materials, like shovels and gloves, volunteers will work in teams of three to five people, planting anywhere from three to five trees from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, October 15.

If you’re interested in helping Plant the Gem and grow Flossmoor’s urban canopy, you can sign up as a volunteer at one of three levels: team captain, team member, or tree supporter. Team captains are responsible for assembling a team of three to five people to help plant as many as five trees during the project. Additional instructions and training will be provided to team captains prior to the event. Those interested in signing up as a team member will be assigned a team by project organizers. There will be areas along the route with pre-established holes for people with limited physical capacity to participate. No previous tree planting experience is required and all ability levels are welcome.

Unable to make the planting day but wish to donate in other ways? Sign up as a tree support volunteer and organizers will provide a number of ways to get involved, including donating to the cost of materials, being a long-term tree steward, or joining future tree watering teams.

Visit www.plantthegem.com to sign up and be part of one of the largest tree plantings in Chicagoland history!

Floosmoor Going Green to Plant Trees with Chicago Region Trees Initiative

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