Thu April 18, 2019
Friday, April 26 from 9 am to noon
Downers Grove Recreation Center, 4500 Belmont Road
To celebrate Arbor Day, members of the community are invited to stop by to receive a free seedling (while supplies last) at the Downers Grove Recreation Center. Help support the Downers Grove urban canopy by planting a tree in your own backyard!
A World Record for 3rd Graders?
Over the last decade, the Downers Grove Park District has celebrated Arbor Day with first grade students at Whittier School, District preschoolers and participants by planting trees at Downers Grove parks in addition to providing children and the community with seedlings to take home and plant in their own backyard. This year, the Park District is expanding efforts to enhance the community’s urban canopy by planting more than 1,100 trees in Downers Grove.
Downers Grove Park Commissioner, Tom Salaba, has been working with Downers Grove Grade School District 58 to make 2019 the District’s largest Arbor Day celebration to date and to set the stage for establishing a world record for the most trees to be planted by 3rd graders.
“The Park District is proud to care for and maintain more than 5,700 trees in Downers Grove’s parks, but we want to make an even bigger impact for future generations to come. By educating our children how to care for and grow trees in addition to discovering the many benefits of trees, we will create a happy, healthy community for all to enjoy,” said Salaba.
Recently awarded a $5,000 federal forestry grant through Morton Arboretum’s Community Trees Program, the Downers Grove Park District is developing a long-term Urban Forest Management Plan, which will focus on the planting and maintenance of the urban canopy and will include community education and outreach. This year’s Arbor Day celebration is just a glimpse of what the District plans to achieve in regards to educating the community about the importance and benefits of trees.
A generous donation received from the MillionTrees Project—an initiative of Living Lands & Waters, an Illinois-based environmental organization—has provided the Downers Grove Park District with 800 seedlings in 2019. Combined with an additional 300 seedlings purchased annually from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the District will grow the Arbor Day program in partnership with Downers Grove Grade School District 58 this spring.
The week of April 22, Downers Grove Park District will distribute 600 seedlings to District 58 to provide every third grade student with a seedling, planting instructions and a video highlighting the benefits of trees. In addition, students from Whittier School, Lyman Woods NaturePlay School and the Link Before & After School program, will help the District to plant four trees at Lyman Woods, two trees at Hummer Park and two trees at Randall Park. During these plantings, the District’s natural resources staff and naturalists from Lyman Woods will provide students with hands-on activities to teach them about trees and the ecosystem. All children will also receive a seedling of their own.
And that’s not all. Members of the community are invited to stop by from 9 am to noon on Friday, April 26, to receive a free seedling (while supplies last) at the Downers Grove Recreation Center located at 4500 Belmont Road in Downers Grove.