District Receives Federal Forestry Grant from the Morton Arboretum

Fri December 28, 2018

The Morton Arboretum’s Community Trees Program has awarded the Downers Grove Park District a $5,000 federal forestry grant, which will help the District develop a long-term Urban Forest Management Plan in 2019. Matched with an additional $5,000 from the District, the plan will focus on the planting and maintenance of the urban canopy in Downers Grove and will also include community education and outreach.

The Arboretum awarded more than $170,000 in federal forestry grants to 16 Illinois organizations looking to fund tree-related projects. The program aims to help municipalities, park districts, townships, counties, and other local government entities fund projects such as tree planting, obtaining a tree inventory and developing or updating a tree protection and preservation ordinance or a tree management plan. The federal grants are administered by the Arboretum on behalf of the U.S. Forest Service Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Beth Corrigan, Community Trees Program Specialist with The Morton Arboretum, is pleased the grants will enable communities to move forward with their urban forestry plans.

“Trees are an important part of our region’s infrastructure,” Corrigan said. “Communities are the key to creating a greener, healthier world.”

Tom Salaba, Downers Grove Park Board Commissioner, looks forward to the grant-funded Urban Forest Management Plan and the impacts it will have on the Downers Grove community.

“Not only are trees a critical asset to our community, they serve many valuable roles in our local neighborhoods and ecosystem. The Downers Grove Park District is proud to continue growing and improving the health and diversification of our local canopy,” said Salaba.

In 2019, the District will work in conjunction with Graf Tree Care of Batavia, Illinois, for the development of the Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). Graf Tree Care has previously worked with the District, completing a comprehensive GIS-based tree inventory of over 5500 trees in 2016. The UFMP will help the District prepare for, and perpetuate the future of the Urban Forest by ensuring continuity in tree care, guide our future tree planting efforts, improve the resiliency of the tree population by increasing diversity, and to help plan for the reduction of invasive species, such as buckthorn and honeysuckle in the parks.

The Downers Grove Park District is grateful for the community support received from the following local partners during the application process: the Village of Downers Grove, the Downers Grove Garden Club and Pierce Downer’s Heritage Alliance.

About the Downers Grove Park District

The Downers Grove Park District enriches our community through natural area preservation and exceptional recreation, parks, and facilities that inspire memorable experiences. With almost 600 acres of parks and facilities, there are thousands of opportunities for individuals of all ages and interests to grow, play, imagine and explore. Learn more at dgparks.org.

About the Community Trees Program at The Morton Arboretum

The Community Trees Program at The Morton Arboretum was established in 2002 with support from the Grace Bersted Foundation. The program’s goal is to help people help trees live long, productive lives, based on the philosophy that all trees, on both public and private land, together form an urban and community forest that is crucial to a community’s infrastructure.

About the Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum and tree research center located in Lisle, Illinois. As the champion of trees, the Arboretum is committed to scientifically-informed action, both locally and globally and encouraging the planting and conservation of trees for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. On 1,700 acres are 222,000 plant specimens representing 4,500 different kinds of plants, along with specialty gardens, educational exhibits, the award-winning Children’s Garden, 16 miles of hiking trails and the Visitor Center, featuring The Arboretum Store and the Ginko Restaurant and Café. The Morton Arboretum is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, welcoming 1.1 million visitors annually and serving 46,200 member households in 2017. Learn more at mortonarb.org.