Plant the Gem A Resounding Success

Plant the Gem A Resounding Success
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Plant the Gem A Resounding Success (Flossmoor, IL) — Arriving at Leavitt Park on the morning of October 15, 2022, volunteers chatted excitedly about the day’s prospects, enamored by the plethora of vibrant young trees waiting to be planted to join Flossmoor’s robust urban forest. That same scene played out at hundreds of locations across Flossmoor as more than 250 volunteers staked claim on their planting zones and enthusiastically dug into Plant the Gem.

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Prairie State College
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Prairie State College

Knowing the day would be memorable and essentially place Flossmoor in the record books for the largest single-day tree planting, it still amazed organizers to feel the buzz of excitement across the Village upon the arrival of Plant the Gem. Even Trinity Pierce, Stewardship Manager with Chicago Region Trees Initiative, who has participated in thousands of tree plantings acrossthe Chicagoland region, came away from the day impressed by Flossmoor’s spirit.

“There was no doubt about the strong volunteer spirit in Flossmoor and they turned out in droves,” said Pierce. “This is the largest hands-on, single-day planting we’ve ever participated in and Flossmoor certainly came out to represent and take ownership in planting and caring for the trees moving forward.”

Thanks to prep work by the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District and a few local landscape professionals, all 300 holes were pre-augured prior to the start of Plant the Gem, which meant people of all physical abilities could volunteer their time and efforts.Volunteers of all kinds took part in the day, with some as young as seven and some older than70, as part of families or groups, and others just wanting to give back to the community. No matter the reason for their volunteer efforts, seeing people from all over Flossmoor come together for a shared goal was an inspiring sight for Mayor Michelle Nelson and something she will not soon forget.

“The day exceeded my expectations. We had fun working together and it was heart-warming seeing so many organizations represented at the event. Part of the excitement for me was seeing everyone’s love turn into action,” said Nelson. “Plant the Gem was a multi-generational event. I saw grandparents working with their grandchildren, teaching them to care for our environment and community. These are important lessons that I hope will continue to be passed down from generation to generation.”

Plant the Gem A Resounding Success

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Monica Gordon for Cook County Commissioner

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