Is there a difference between a tree planting and a neighborhood cleanup day?
Yes. Both tree plantings and neighborhood cleanup days have the same goal of greening and beautifying Chicago, though tree plantings are more rigorous. A neighborhood cleanup day requires a smaller budget, and the day’s activities can include picking up litter, removing graffiti, pulling weeds, and planting shrubs. A tree planting includes aspects of all the above, but the main focus is planting and caring for trees.
How much does it cost to sponsor a tree planting or a neighborhood cleanup day?
Chicago Gateway Green is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to host events on our own, so we partner with businesses and community organizations to sponsor them. The day’s budget covers plant material, watering and maintenance of the plantings, mulch, permanent signage to highlight your organization, food and beverages, and land preparation. The cost is highly variable, mostly dependent upon the number of trees and volunteers. As a general guide, tree plantings can cost anywhere from $10,000-$25,000.
If you would like to partner with Gateway Green but cannot afford to sponsor a tree planting, there are a few other options. Neighborhood cleanup days can be planned for as little as $300. Additionally, we can search for another corporate sponsor should you wish to co-host an event. In this case, both sponsoring organizations would be responsible for providing funding and volunteers.
Can we request a certain neighborhood?
Location requests are welcomed and encouraged! There are many worthwhile projects throughout the city that may be unknown to us. If you do not have a neighborhood preference, we can suggest a few options and find the best location and project for your group.
How much advance notice do you need from an organization who wishes to sponsor a tree planting?
The more time we have to plan, the better your event will be! We require at least a month’s notice to give us time to find a great location for your tree planting and secure the correct permits.
Do you have a minimum or maximum number of volunteers per event?
While there are no defined limits, we want to make sure there is enough work for all of the participating volunteers. We typically assign two or three volunteers to one tree. Therefore, the cost of the volunteer day increases with the number of volunteers. We request an approximate headcount during the preliminary planning stages and a more confirmed headcount one week before the event.
Are there specific days set aside for volunteer days?
No, we are very flexible and can work around your schedule. Please let us know if you have a certain day or week in mind. A few limitations…
- Tree plantings cannot be done in the middle of summer due to extreme heat, droughts, and tougher growing conditions. Mid-April through mid-June, September, and October are ideal planting months.
- Due to our close collaboration with local and state government agencies, we limit tree planting days to Monday through Friday.
How long should a volunteer plan to work?
Tree plantings are typically 3-4 hours long with approximately 2 of those hours dedicated to planting. Volunteer check-in, speeches, a tree planting demonstration, lunch, and photo opportunities account for the remaining time.
Neighborhood cleanups can be anywhere from 1-4 hours depending on the day’s activities. Planting shrubs and flowers will extend the day.
Where do we meet?
Gateway Green staff will meet volunteers onsite. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide transportation for volunteers, but we can assist with finding nearby parking and public transportation options.