Rockford Park District Looking for Tree Enthusiasts

The Rockford Park District is committed to providing park space and recreation facilities that meet the recreational needs of this and succeeding generations as residents value the District’s role in preservation, conservation, reforestation, and beautification.

The District has a sustainability policy that embraces the principles and practices of sustainability to insure that Rockford Park District assets will remain and be preserved for future generations. The District has 4,962 total acres of land that includes 938 acres of forested natural areas with hundreds of thousands of trees that provide a huge number of benefits to the community. Scientific studies show that trees:

Remove pollutants, providing cleaner airReduce flooding by soaking up standing waterReduce soil erosionHelp save on energy costs by providing shade and reducing wind speedProvide habitat for wildlifeReduce crime rates and increase property value Increase creativity and concentration in kidsHelp make people feel happier and healthier, and make neighborhoods more beautiful.

About Forest City Tree Keepers (FCTK)

To make sure we keep our title as the “Forest City,” the Rockford Park District has partnered with The Morton Arboretum on a new initiative called “Forest City Tree Keepers.” Volunteers with Forest City Tree Keepers (FCTK) will work to preserve, maintain, and track more than 24,000 trees throughout the District. Volunteers will also promote and improve the health of the District’s trees by helping to inventory every tree, as well as water, mulch, prune, and plant trees.

A kick-off event will take place on April 15, 2017 from 9 a.m. to noon at Aldeen Park, 623 N Alpine Rd, Rockford. Volunteers will learn more about their environmental responsibilities, and thanks to a grant received from The Morton Arboretum, ten trees will be planted at the kick-off event. “Forest City Tree Keepers is something anyone can take part in, as we will provide education and guidance. Studies show that beautification in urban areas reduces crime and increases community pride. Citizens who contribute to the care of parkland, particularly trees, will likely take greater ownership of parks and other neighborhood assets,” said Nathan Hill, Rockford Park District Horticulture Supervisor.

The Forest City Tree Keepers (FCTK) program will meet each third Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the following dates: May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19, September 16, and October 21, 2017. Monthly meetings will be at various sites throughout the Rockford Park District, where volunteers will receive educational trainings about various topics.

Anyone interested in learning more about Forest City Tree Keepers should attend the kick-off event or contact Taylor Hennelly, Rockford Park District Arborist, at 815-987-1596. Volunteer information is also found online at www.rockfordparkdistrict.org/volunteer.

Morton ArboretumAbout The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum’s Community Trees Program helps communities; public and private landowners, land managers, tree professionals, and groups interested in trees to effectively manage

and care for our urban and community forest. Our urban and community forest includes not just the trees found in our nature preserves and parks, but also those along streets, outside office buildings, within homeowners associations, and even in private yards.

Vision

For the Rockford Park District to be the best urban park and recreation system in North America, as measured by national standards and the citizens we serve.

Mission

To 'help people enjoy life' by providing a quality park and recreation system.

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