Flossmoor’s Vibrant Tree Canopy Set to Expand by More than 300
The Village of Flossmoor will host the largest, single-day tree planting in the State on October 15, 2022
FLOSSMOOR, Ill. – Sept. 21, 2022 – In partnership with the Chicago Regional Trees Initiative (CRTI), the Morton Arboretum, and the Hidden Gem Half Marathon, the Village of Flossmoor is hosting what is anticipated to be one of Illinois’ largest, single-day, volunteer-driven tree plantings from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on October 15, 2022.
“Nothing speaks more to Flossmoor’s future than an epic tree planting. Being able to mobilize hundreds of residents to a singular event that will leave an impact for decades is an opportunity that's hard to resist. Or as we say, a 'tree-mendous' chance for Flossmoor to shine," said Tom Dobrez, president of Flossmoor’s Future, the non-profit organization behind the Hidden Gem Half Marathon. “Being recognized by the Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Regional Tree Initiative has meant a great deal to the Hidden Gem Committee, and we couldn't be prouder to join them and the Village's impressive Green Commission for this record-breaking event. For our volunteers, it will be four hours of work for a lifetime of enjoyment and a lasting legacy for our town."
The project, which will result in the planting of more than 300 trees along Flossmoor’s parkways, will require as many as 400 volunteers working together as teams to plant each tree in its designated location. A total of 10 tree species were identified by the Flossmoor Green Commission and Flossmoor Forestry Maintenance Technician Dave Becker, all of which are locally sourced and native to the region to promote tree diversity and growth prosperity.
Funding for the record-setting project came courtesy of an initiative lead by Green Commissioner Tristian Shaw to partner with CRTI and the Morton Arboretum, which led to Flossmoor being awarded a $30,000 Federal Earmark, made available to CRTI through the support of Representative Sean Casten. CRTI Stewardship Manager and Certified Arborist Trinity Pierce said the decision to award Flossmoor with the $30,000 was largely based on the Hidden Gem Half Marathon’s success in mobilizing a large number of volunteers for its annual event.
“When we learned (there is) such an active volunteer program around the Gem, which attracts people interested in healthy living, healthy activities, we knew it was a good fit,” said Trinity Pierce, Stewardship Manager and Certified Arborist with CRTI. “Our program is all about connecting folks with trees in any way we can, advocating for trees because they provide us so many benefits, and creating a tree canopy that is more diverse, more abundant, and more economically dispersed in our seven-county region.”
Those interested in volunteering can sign up for one of three levels: team captain, team member, or tree supporter. Team captains are responsible for assembling a team of three to five people to help plant as many as five trees during the project. Additional instructions and training will be provided to team captains prior to the event. Those interested in signing up as a team member will be assigned a team by project organizers. There will be areas along the route with pre-established holes for people with limited physical capacity to participate. No previous tree planting experience is required and all ability levels are welcome.
Unable to make the planting day but wish to donate in other ways? Sign up as a tree support volunteer and organizers will provide a number of ways to get involved, including donating to the cost of materials, being a long-term tree steward, or joining future tree watering teams.
“October 15 will certainly be a day for the history books here in Flossmoor, but the environmental impact and the lasting benefits it will provide our community and our region, is what really makes Plant the Gem special,” said Mayor Michelle Nelson.
Visit www.plantthegem.com to sign up and be part of one of the largest tree plantings in Chicagoland history.