Mayor Emanuel today celebrated Earth Day by planting a tree in the 16th ward. The tree was one that the City of Chicago won for being named winner of the Siemens Sustainable Communities Award this week.
“Building a sustainable Chicago is an important element of all that we do in the city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “A focus on sustainability will create economic opportunity for our residents while providing a better quality of life, and will help us leave a better Chicago for our children and grandchildren.”
The tree was the first of $20,000 worth of trees that the City will receive this fall, which will be planted throughout Chicago. Chicago was part of a trio that beat out more than 130 other cities for the honor of the Sustainable Communities Award, which was conferred this week at the U.S. Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center annual conference.
“We are honored to have won this award for our sustainability efforts here in Chicago,” said Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago. “We will continue to find innovative and creative ways to increase sustainability throughout the City and the great things that come with it.”
In the Mayor’s first year in office, he has undertaken a number of programs that have major impacts on the City’s sustainability, including doubling the number of city-owned LEED buildings; announcing the City will have recycling city-wide by 2013; launching protected bike lanes and a city-wide bike sharing program; promoting energy efficiency in our homes and businesses; and much more.
The tree was a shingle oak and is about 15 feet tall. Planting was assisted and supervised by the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s Forestry Bureau, which oversees the city’s approximately 500,000 parkway trees.
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