Chicago, IL (August 19, 2010)- The formation of the Chicago Tree Corps, a new movement of Chicagoans that will help achieve the goal of planting 15,000 trees in the city by 2015, was announced today by Chicago Gateway Green spokesperson Bill Kurtis at a press conference convened and attended by Mayor Richard M. Daley.
The Chicago Tree Corps, part of Chicago Gateway Green’s successful Tree Partnership Program, will coordinate a variety of greening activities, including participating in and organizing community-based volunteer tree plantings throughout the city. Chicago residents will be able to sign up as a volunteer or donate to a specific tree grove in their neighborhood through Chicago Gateway Green’s Web site at www.gatewaygreen.org. Kurtis, the legendary newsman who now serves as Chicago Gateway Green’s spokesperson, noted at this morning’s press conference that the Earth’s climate is changing, including Chicago’s own.
“Our trees are an important way we can combat the negative effects of climate change, and keep our city green and beautiful,” he said. “The great trees of Chicago provide our city with oxygen, absorb air pollutants and cool our neighborhoods by providing much-needed shade.” Through its tree planting activities, the Chicago Tree Corps will be help meet the goals of Mayor Daley’s Chicago Climate Action Plan, aimed at doubling Chicago’s tree canopy by 2040 and creating a greener, healthier and more vibrant city.
As part of this latest greening initiative, Chicago Gateway Green will work with Chicago businesses to help them reduce their paper consumption and use those savings to plant trees across the city. “Implementing strategies to reduce paper use will not only help businesses become more efficient in their operations, it will create environmental benefits – and mean more trees for the Chicago neighborhoods,” said Gerald J. Roper, chairman, Chicago Gateway Green.
Chicago Gateway Green has been greening and beautifying Chicago for nearly 25 years, since it began as a small group of local residents and business people cleaning up litter, scrubbing graffiti and planting trees in city neighborhoods. Over the years, the organization has branched out into a Tree Partnership Program and an Expressway Garden Program.
Chicago Gateway Green’s Tree Partnership Program, with the support of founding partner Bank of America, started the organization’s goal of planting 15,000 trees in the city by 2015. Meanwhile, the Expressway Partnership Program has resulted in the planting of more than 100 sustainable landscapes along Chicago’s major expressways, created with business partners such as Allstate Insurance, the Chicago Cubs and Solo Cup, among many others.