DeKalb Park District Receives Urban and Community Forestry Grant

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DeKalb Park District is among 20 Illinois communities and agencies awarded grants administered by The Morton Arboretum in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, to help improve Illinois urban forestry.

The $15,000 Urban and Community Forestry Grant will enable the DeKalb Park District to create a comprehensive stem-by-stem GIS Tree Inventory of its parks and golf courses. Information gathered will include the geo-location, species, size, health, and maintenance recommendations for each tree which will be instantly available via computer. This information will help the District to analyze its tree diversity, create a comprehensive management plan, assist with future educational programming, and acknowledge the importance of trees to the public and their key role as green infrastructure.

“The District has recently created GIS maps for the park system, so this inventory will add a valuable layer to this and be invaluable to us as we seek to create a management system for our tree inventory. We are excited that with the support of this grant that we can move forward with this important project” noted Phil Young, President of the Board of Commissioners for the District.

The 2019 / 2020 Urban and Community Forestry Grant program is made possible by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the USDA Forest Service to meet urban and community forestry goals throughout Illinois. The matching grants provide opportunities for public entities (municipalities, park districts, forest preserves etc.) to support any combination of tree planting, developing a management plan, completing a tree inventory, or developing a tree preservation / protection ordinance. Grantees are required to update their ordinances or pass new ones to meet required standards. The Morton Arboretum provides free assistance to ensure that communities are able to meet the requirements.

The grants were awarded through a competitive process, with over $217,000 in available funds distributed evenly north and south of highway I-80, and communities competing in their own geographic areas. The DeKalb Park District is required to match the grant funding, either financially or in-kind.

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, more beautiful world. On 1,700 acres are 222,000 plant specimens representing 4,650 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 Ginkgo Restaurant and Café. The Morton Arboretum is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, welcoming 1.2 million visitors annually and serving 54,000 member households. Learn more at mortonarb.org.

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