Chicago is set to invest $46 million in tree planting over the next five years. Trees can help improve air quality, reduce flooding, and offer several other health and social benefits. But the distribution of trees throughout Chicago is far from equal.
Chicago Region Trees Initiative
Between 2010 and 2020, Chicago’s canopy cover decreased from 19% to 16%, largely due to the loss of mature ash trees, according to the 2020 tree census spearheaded by the Morton Arboretum.
OAKtober Campaign Aims to Raise Awareness, Spur Action
Oak was once the predominant tree in the Chicago area. Now most of them are gone. Ecologists have a plan to make sure they don’t disappear from the region entirely, and they need our help.
Oak trees, once abundant in the Chicago region, have been struggling to reproduce in recent decades. A grant from the U.S. Forest Service will help fund a restoration project at Greene Valley in Naperville.
The 2020 census of the region’s trees — the largest undertaking of its kind in the country — will build on the inaugural 2010 count and help municipalities set priorities for creating healthier green infrastructure, particularly in underserved communities.