As part of the city’s Clean and Green Day of Service taking place on Saturday, April 22, my office will be offering free oak saplings to residents of the 40th Ward. These young trees will be available for pickup at our ward yard, 5333 N. Western Ave, Saturday morning from 8:00 am – 11:00 am. Due to limited quantities, two trees per household, school, or organization will be given out.
The trees are compliments of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, who launched a program in 2016 in an effort to aid in managing storm water and to educate communities and schools on the value of the tree canopy that has been depleted over the last century.
The saplings are currently 18 inches high. Planting and care instructions, along with additional information regarding the benefits of trees, will be provided.
Saplings can be planted on personal property such as homes, school grounds, etc., but cannot be planted on the city’s parkways. Parkway trees need to be requested through the city’s 311 system or our office at 773-769-1140.
MWRD states that not only do trees provide a beautiful green canopy for our communities, trees are a powerful and effective form of green infrastructure that reduces city heat island effects, absorbs carbon gases and produces oxygen. A medium-sized oak tree can help prevent flooding by absorbing 2,800 gallons of rainfall per year. Trees are also vital to our environment for many other reasons; they:
- Reduce flooding
- Reduce air pollution
- Improve health and well-being
- Keep neighborhoods cooler
- Create a sense of community
- Lower energy bills
- Increase property value
- Provide protection from wind
- Buffer noise
- Provide shade
- Increase habitat for wildlife
- Absorb carbon dioxide
- Give oxygen
For more information regarding this program, visit the MWRD website.