Plant the Gem

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Flossmoor’s Vibrant Tree Canopy Welcomes 300 New Trees

The Village of Flossmoor hosted the largest, single-day tree planting in the State on October 15, 2022

In partnership with the Chicago Regional Tree Initiative (CRTI), the Morton Arboretum, and the Hidden Gem Half Marathon, the Village of Flossmoor this October hosted what is being labeled as one of Illinois’ largest, single-day, volunteer-driven tree plantings, ever.

“Nothing speaks more to Flossmoor’s future than an epic tree planting. Being able to mobilize hundreds of residents to a singular event that will leave an impact for decades is an opportunity that's hard to resist. Or as we say, a 'tree-mendous' chance for Flossmoor to shine," said Tom Dobrez, president of Flossmoor’s Future, the non-profit organization behind the Hidden Gem Half Marathon. “Being recognized by the Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Regional Tree Initiative has meant a great deal to the Hidden Gem Committee, and we couldn't be prouder to join them and the Village's impressive Green Commission for this record-breaking event. For our volunteers, it will be four hours of work for a lifetime of enjoyment and a lasting legacy for our town."

The project resulted in the planting of more than 300 trees, spanning 12 different species, along Flossmoor’s parkways. Project organizers were able to recruit more than 250 volunteers who worked together as teams to plant each tree in a pre-determined location. The 12 tree species, all which are native to the region, were identified by the Flossmoor Green Commission in partnership with Flossmoor Forestry Maintenance Technician Dave Becker, and were all locally sourced to promote tree diversity and growth prosperity.

Funding for the record-setting project came courtesy of an initiative lead by Green Commissioner Tristian Shaw to partner with CRTI and the Morton Arboretum, which led to Flossmoor being awarded a $30,000 Federal Earmark, made available to CRTI through the support of Representative Sean Casten. CRTI Stewardship Manager and Certified Arborist Trinity Pierce said the decision to award Flossmoor with the $30,000 was largely based on the Hidden Gem Half Marathon’s success in mobilizing a large number of volunteers for its annual event.

“When we learned (there is) such an active volunteer program around the Gem, which attracts people interested in healthy living, healthy activities, we knew it was a good fit,” said Trinity Pierce, Stewardship Manager and Certified Arborist with CRTI. “Our program is all about connecting folks with trees in any way we can, advocating for trees because they provide us so many benefits, and creating a tree canopy that is more diverse, more abundant, and more economically dispersed in our seven-county region.”