At an Arbor Day celebration today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the City will plant about 5,400 trees in neighborhoods across Chicago this year through various programs and projects in the “Building a New Chicago” infrastructure investment program.
“Chicago was one of the first cities where planting trees and urban forests were part of the City’s plan and design,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Not only do trees beautify our neighborhoods, but they clean our air, provide shade, and improve our quality of life to make our City in a Garden an even better place to live.”
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Department of Streets and Sanitation celebrated Arbor Day today with the planting of seven trees in the parkway around John C. Dore Elementary School, 6108 S. Natoma Ave.
“The planting of trees is an important part of any infrastructure investment, and our many streetscape and development projects this year will be enhanced with new greenery,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “Planting and protecting our trees is an important part of creating a greener Chicago for our future.”
CDOT will plant more than 2,600 trees this year, at an estimated cost of $1.6 million, through various infrastructure improvement projects. In 2014, the Department of Streets and Sanitation will spend approximately $2.9 million for tree inoculation, removal and the planting approximately 2,800 trees.
“The Department of Streets and Sanitation is committed to maintaining the health and vibrancy of 500,000 Chicago parkway trees,” said Commissioner Charles Williams. “We will continue to plant diverse tree species throughout the City and inoculate all viable Ash trees on city parkways against the Emerald Ash Borer.”
At Dore Elementary, CDOT is planting three Swamp White Oaks, three Princeton Elms, and one Kentucky Coffee tree. All three tree species are hardy to Chicago and the Midwest climate, and can be found elsewhere along the streets of Chicago.
Chicago has an estimated 3.5 million trees on both public and private property, which cover more than 17 percent of the area, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Chicago’s urban forest removes about 25,000 tons of carbon per year and about 900 tons of air pollution annually.