Free trees coming to Palos Hills

  • Written by Kelly White

  The city of Palos Hills is looking forward to a green spring.
  The Community Resource Department received a grant from Living Land and Waters Million Trees Project for 150-200 free trees to distribute to residents. T

he trees are a several variety of oak trees and will be one to five feet in height when they are wrapped to be distributed.
  “Since Arbor Day is April 25, we’ll be handing out trees on April 26,” Alderman Joe Marrotta (4th Ward) said at Thursday’s council meeting.
  The trees will be handed out in conjunction with Palos Hills’ spring events, Touch a Truck and Kids Day.
  The Community Resource Department was chosen for the Living Land and Waters Million Trees Project is anticipating a very green spring throughout the entire city of Palos Hills as a gratitude to the project.
  Headquartered in East Moline, Living Lands and Waters is an environmental organization established by Chad Pregracke in 1998. Since the organization was founded, Living Lands and Waters has grown to be the only industrial strength river cleanup organization like it in the world with the most important part of this project being the community involvement. Thousands of volunteers annually help Living Land and Waters with both the packaging and planting trees throughout the Midwest.
  Spending up to nine months a year living and traveling on the barge, the Living Lands and Waters’ crew hosts river cleanups, watershed conservation initiatives, workshops, tree plantings and other key conservation efforts.
  The Million Trees Project was initiated in 2007 to preserve and restore the natural environment of the nation’s major rivers and their watersheds. Living Land and Waters mission is to not only clean up the river ways, but to also enhance the watershed by planting native trees and removing invasive any plants.
  In 2007, Living Land and Waters started collecting and planting acorns with a goal of growing one million trees within the next five to ten years. After two to three growing seasons, the trees are harvested and are being replanted within towns and cities that have joined in their efforts through outreach programs including Palos Hills Community Resource Department.
  Over the last 150 years there has been a decline in tree diversity along the shorelines and neighborhoods of the Midwest’s hardwood trees, including oak trees. The Million Trees Project feels that diversifying the current makeup of trees along the shorelines and in our local communities increases the opportunities for beneficial wildlife and insects to live. Trees also filter the air we breathe. By absorbing carbon, they reduce the impacts of climate change, and the leaves also produce oxygen for us to breathe.
  Palos Hills officials urged their citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and to support efforts to protect trees and woodlands, and further urged all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well-being of this and future generations.