from the Morton Arboretum
Planting and protecting trees has never been more important. Climate change is transforming our world, shifting plant hardiness zones, and putting trees under stress. In celebration of Arbor Day, is partnering with public and private organizations to promote the value of urban trees.
At 7 a.m. Friday, April 20, 2012, teams of volunteers will place tags on thousands of trees in the City of Chicago and surrounding suburbs to showcase the beauty and environmental benefits of trees.
“Every year we deal with more and more trees that need protection and replacement,” says Nicole Cavender, PhD, Vice President of Science and Conservation for The Morton Arboretum. “The Arboretum works to promote the planting and protection of trees - always with a focus on the future.”
“Every Tree Counts” is the theme of the Arboretum’s week-long celebration that culminates with Arbor Day, April 27. Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, who later served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland. Carrying on his father’s legacy to “plant trees,” Joy Morton-- founder of Morton Salt, Inc. -- established The Morton Arboretum in Lisle in 1922. This spring, Morton Salt, BMO Harris Bank, and Davey Tree Expert Company will collaborate with the Arboretum to underscore the important role trees play in our lives.
“Not only do we share the Morton name, Morton Salt, Inc. and The Morton Arboretum, we share our founder’s respect for the environment,” said Mark Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Morton Salt, Inc., adding that the company will be involved in future efforts with the Arboretum. The efforts kick off at the April 20 tagging. “By teaming up on the ‘Every Tree Counts’ initiative in Chicago and other tree appreciation efforts, we hope to carry on our founder’s goal of building greener, more beautiful communities for future generations.”
Staff and volunteers from the Arboretum, along with employees of Morton Salt, Inc., BMO Harris Bank, and The Davey Tree Expert Company, will highlight both the aesthetic and environmental value of more than 1,500 trees in the City of Chicago by attaching bright green tags that will be in place for two weeks around City Hall; in Millennium Park; along popular commuter routes including Michigan Avenue, Washington, Monroe, and State Streets; and near the Magnificent Mile including Superior Street and Chicago Avenue.
Another 2,000 trees will be tagged in the suburban communities of Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, and Wheaton by local students, Girl Scout troops, civic leaders, and community organizations.
The tags promote the significant return on investment that communities gain by planting trees. Scientifically measurable tree benefits include shading offices and homes, reducing the amount of cooling energy used in the summer; removing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the air, converting it to carbon, and storing it in their wood for decades; and catching rainfall, decreasing the amount of water flowing into storm water systems.
“BMO Harris Bank is committed to the principles of sustainable development and the belief that the quality of our lives improves when economic growth is integrated with respect for the environment,” said Mike Lewis, Regional President, BMO Harris Bank and Co-Chair of the BMO Sustainability Council. “We are proud to be a part of a collaborative effort to highlight the environmental worth of trees in our City. Protecting the environment is everybody’s business and working together we can conserve Chicago and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”
Values on the Tree Tags are determined using the National Tree Benefit Calculator, a computer model that is based on 25 years of research by the U.S. Forest Service and its partners.
“Arbor Day is the signature holiday of The Morton Arboretum,” said Gerry Donnelly, PhD, President and CEO of The Morton Arboretum. “It began with the Morton family and is directly related to the mission of the Arboretum. Our goal is to encourage everyone to plant, protect, and appreciate the value of trees – especially during this time of celebration.”
For more information on Arbor Day programs, events, and activities, visit www.mortonarb.org/arborday.