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TreeKeepers are active in their communities, organizing tree plantings, adopting trees and maintaining parks. (Openlands / Facebook)

The conservation group Openlands started the program in 1991 and has since certified 2,000 TreeKeepers, who play an important role in conserving, protecting and advocating for the Chicago region’s trees. 

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A proposed Urban Forestry Advisory Board would take a more strategic look at one of the city’s unsung resources — its trees. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

It’s time to be strategic, rather than reactive, when it comes to managing a vital piece of Chicago’s infrastructure — it’s trees. 

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"Green Lady" in Jackson Park is the latest sculpture to breathe new life into one of Chicago's dead ash trees. (Chicago Sculpture International)

Since 2014, the Chicago Tree Project has commissioned more than two dozen sculptures across the city, bringing new life to dead ash trees. The latest is a work by artist Gary Keenan.

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A census of the Chicago region's trees, last tallied at 157 million in 2010, is in progress. (Brian Crawford / Flickr)

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.

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The spotted lanternfly threatens grape, apple, pear, cherry and hop plants and trees, among others. (Chesapeake Bay Program / Flickr)

The spotted lanternfly, oak wilt, gypsy moth and boxwood blight are among the latest threats in the plant world. And citizen scientists have a role to play when it comes to stopping the next plague.

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Neighbors in Ravenswood Manor are raising funds to save the area’s parkway ash trees. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The city has given up on its ash trees, but some Chicagoans refuse to let theirs die.

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Maple syrup is bottled piping hot in the Funks Grove fishing room. The Funks say the hot liquid sanitizes the container. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

For generations, a small family business has relied on predictable weather patterns to produce thousands of gallons of maple syrup each year. But climate change is now threatening the industry – and filling the family with uncertainty about the future.

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The east bank of the North Shore Channel has been stripped of foliage in Legion Park as part of a habitat restoration project. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The east bank of the North Shore Channel has been stripped of foliage between Foster and Bryn Mawr avenues, to be replaced with native species. Neighbors say the project has laid bare “eyesores” on the opposite bank.

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Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Japan (Daniel Peckham / Flickr)

From the Amazon to Jiuzhaigou Valley, the world’s forests are racking up hashtags. But there’s no need to travel out of Cook County in search of photogenic flora.

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In this Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, photo, a North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree is for sale in Lenoir, N.C. A Christmas tree shortage is being blamed on the Great Recession. Poor sales a decade ago, limited the number of trees planted, which are being harvested this year. (AP Photo / Sarah Blake Morgan)

Christmas tree supplies are tight again this year across the U.S., depending upon location and seller. The industry is still bouncing back from the Great Recession and trying to win people back from a shift toward artificial trees when times were especially tough.

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Water line repairs can be a costly mess. But what if there was a way to fix old water mains without tearing up streets, and old trees? There actually is, and Chicago is dipping into the waters of this technology with a pilot program. 

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(Gotta Be Worth It / Pexels.com)

A new study offers a framework cities can use to begin measuring the mental health benefits of nature, while helping municipal planners and policymakers integrate nature into their projects. 

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Leaves on a tree affected with Phytophthora ramorum, also known as sudden oak death (Courtesy California Oak Mortality Task Force)

The disease known as sudden oak death has killed large numbers of oak trees and native plant species in California, Oregon and Europe. The pathogen behind it has now been identified in Illinois.

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(Laura Marie / Flickr)

Chicago-based environmental group Openlands has received a $1 million grant to address climate change by planting new trees and recruiting residents to protect them. 

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(Alvaro del Campo / The Field Museum)

A team led by Field Museum conservation ecologist Corine Vriesendorp has worked for 15 years to protect one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. This week, it was designated as a national park.

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A group of residents is getting back to its roots—literally—by partnering with the Morton Arboretum to harness the positive impact of trees on everything from the crime rate to the business community.

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