The City of Joliet was recently awarded a $20,000 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).
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk stated, “This grant will provide many significant benefits to the community by implementing active forest management to ensure clean water, wildlife habitat, educational opportunities and public access for recreation.”
Funds will be used to inventory sections of Joliet that have not been included in our current ongoing GPS inventory. A management plan developed over 20 years ago, will be replaced using current data to better insure a healthy future for the city’s forest. The current city forestry budget will provide in-kind matching funds. All work will be completed by Dec. 31, 2021.
The grants provide communities with a better understanding of the urban forest areas they are 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.”