Marks Arbor Day by Planting Tree at Northside College Prep High School
Chicago is making good progress in the critical task of planting more trees, taking
care of its existing 3.5 million trees and expanding the City’s tree canopy, Mayor
Richard M. Daley said today.
“Chicago has more than 3.5 million trees that remove pollution from the air,
reduce summer cooling costs and increase property values,” Daley said at an
Arbor Day tree-planting ceremony at Northside College Prep High School, 5501
N. Kedzie Ave.
The Mayor also announced the launch of the Sustainable Backyards Rebate
Program by the Department of Environment to further expand Chicago’s urban
“Arbor Day gives us the perfect opportunity to re-commit ourselves to carrying
out our mission of protecting human health and the environment, which in turn
promotes the quality of economic development throughout our city and improves
life for all our residents,” he said.
The Mayor pointed out that early in his administration, he made a commitment to
enhance the environment and make Chicago the most environmentally friendly
city in the nation.
Toward that goal, the City created the Chicago Climate Action Plan in which it
outlined the need to plant more trees, maintain existing trees and expand the tree
Since 1989, more than 600,000 trees have been planted in Chicago, but every
year thousands of trees are lost to severe weather, pests and disease.
A few years ago, the City established the “Chicago Trees Initiative”, which is a
public-private partnership that will help plant and care for more trees in every
neighborhood in the city.
“As we face economic challenges, it’s more important than ever for government
to work with the private and not-for-profit sectors to keep Chicago’s progress
going, and we have been doing that,” Daley said.
Daley said the City continues to work closely with the Chicago Public Schools to
develop tree-related curriculum for grades K though 12. At Northside College
Prep, for example, students have an environmental club and an After School
Matters Program with greening.
To that end, volunteers from Bank of America and Dominick’s worked along with
students to plant trees at Northside College Prep today to restore the location
and will become part of an outdoor classroom for the school.
“As we work to improve the size, health, diversity and stewardship of our urban
forest, our program can serve as a model for other cities around the world,”
“If we work and plan together, we can bring about the kinds of changes in our city
that will make it cleaner, more beautiful and more environmentally-friendly – and
those things benefit everyone,” he said.