Glencoe Park District awarded Urban Forestry Funding

Monday, March 20, 2023

Glencoe Park District was awarded a $7,250 grant to complete tree inventories and develop a management plan for its urban forest.

The funds were provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Urban and Community Forestry Partner Grant Program, and administered by The Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI).

The completed plan with include a comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS) Tree Inventory of all managed trees on the district's property. This digital inventory includes information on the species, age, and condition of every tree, providing a roadmap for the district's tree care management plan.

The plan outlines the district's approach to managing its tree canopy, including recommendations for planting, pruning cycles, and care for dying or sick trees. Additionally, the plan will include a tree planting plan that recommends the species of regionally appropriate and diverse trees to plant.

As part of this initiative, the Glencoe Park District will create a Tree Care Policy, which will be submitted to the Board of Commissioners for approval. The policy outlines the district's formal tree care policy and sets standards for how the district will manage and care for its tree canopy going forward. With these new measures in place, the Glencoe Park District is committed to preserving and enhancing its natural environment for years to come.

The grants provide communities with a better understanding of the urban forest areas they're managing by revealing an estimated number of trees, their size, condition, and species. The inventories will also identify opportunities to increase planting and will inform the development of a comprehensive, long-term urban forest management plan.

"Urban trees are critical infrastructure for a community, and this funding helps to protect one of its most important resources," said Lydia Scott, director of CRTI. "Trees clean our air and water, reduce flooding and heat, improve our mental and physical health, and provide important habitat for birds and other wildlife."

Work on the tree inventory and management plan will start work start this summer and be completed by the start of 2024.