The Plainfield Park District has been awarded a $10,925 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 Core Grant Program, and administered by The Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI).
“The Park District applied for this grant to help fund a full tree inventory,” said Project Manager Bob Collins.
Once completed the District will have a record of every park tree (not including densely wooded areas) with its condition, type, size and location.
“We can use this to better address issues, locate new trees to increase tree count and diversity, and create a short- and long-term urban forestry management plan,” he said.
The tree inventory will start in February and should be completed by summer of 2022 with about 50% of the projected costs for the inventory covered by the grant funding.
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.”