The Plainfield Park District is in the final stage of completing its tree inventory and urban forest management plan after receiving a $10,925 grant in January of 2021.
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 District now has 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 it was imperative data allowing the District to create a short and long term urban forestry management plan,” said Plainfield Park District Director of Planning Bob Collins.
The tree inventory has been completed and initial implementation of the newly adopted Urban Forest Management Plan has begun. The grant covers about 50% of the projected costs for the project.
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 also identify opportunities to increase planting, and 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.”