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Park-Wide Reforestation

For the past two decades, the Grant Park Conservancy in partnership with the Chicago Park District initiated a complete reforestation of Grant Park including getting dead and missing trees replaced every spring and fall.This has led to a total reforestation with the planting of over 3,000 new trees just in Grant Park. Although Grant Park is home to the nation's largest remaining stands of the historic American Elm, they continue to be wiped out and impacted by Dutch Elm Disease. This, along with the neglect of the park during the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s has led to thousands of trees dying, being neglected and not replaced. With the cooperation and hard work of the Chicago Park District and funding from Lollapalooza, the Grant Park Conservancy continues a successful regular urban forest management program.

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The Importance of Trees

  • Planting trees is one of the least expensive and most effective ways of drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere. 

  • A mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of up to 50 pounds per year and release enough oxygen, 260 pounds per year, into the atmosphere to support two human beings. 

  • A mature tree's carbon absorption is equivalent to the amount of carbon exhausted by driving a car 26,000 miles. 

  • Trees cleanse the air absorbing tons per year of: carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and particulate matter.  

  • Trees relax people and reduce tension thus helping heal sick people and reduce crime. 

  • Trees provide shade for people walking and biking and look very attractive, thus encouraging people to walk and bike. 

  • Trees provide habitat and food for birds and other nature. 

  • Trees prevent soil erosion and rainwater run-off.  

  • Trees cool buildings by shading them from the hot summer sun and can reduce air conditioning bills by 30%. 

  • Trees reduce heat islands. 

  • Trees are appreciating assets valued in the thousands of dollars each. 

  • Trees attract jobs and economic development and attract tourists to visit a city. 

  • Trees increase property values.  

  • Trees reduce heating bills by sheltering buildings from wind. 

  • Trees reduce noise pollution and can reduce noise and sound by up to 50%.

You can measure the fiscal benefit of trees at the 

National Tree Benefit Calculator

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