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Uprooting injustice by planting trees
Friends for Tree Equity, Host

Wednesday March 13, 6:30pm to 7:45 pm

Friends for Tree Equity, Illinois is becoming one of central and southern Illinois’ key resources for equitable tree planting.  Our goal is to provide the tools, resources, and encouragement needed to build healthy, resilient communities, while also mitigating some of the worst effects of our warming climate.

We are partnering with Faith in Place, Trees Forever, and the Morton Arboretum’s Chicago Region Trees Initiative to expand tree canopy in disadvantaged communities as a just response to our warming climate.

During this webinar, you will learn about the resources, support, and funding available to equitably plant trees in your community. We will hear from:

Wade Halva, Faith in Place, Southern Illinois Outreach Coordinator
Faith in Place, an environmental justice non-profit with a focus on faith communities, has received funding from the U.S. Forest Service to help eligible disadvantaged communities plant trees across Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

Projects will be developed and implemented by community-based organizations and other partners, including houses of worship and faith-based organizations, located in and serving “disadvantaged communities” according to the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) from the White House Council of Environmental Quality. Their funding expands tree planting from public to private properties, and includes food forests, in addition to urban forests and tree canopy plantings.

Emily Ehley, Trees Forever, ISA Certified Arborist and Program Manager
Trees Forever can fund your project with their Recover, Replant, Restore, grant program OR their new Inflation Reduction Act funding for disadvantaged communities. The IRA funding does not require matching grants, thereby removing barriers for underserved communities that often lack the capacity, training or resources. Trees Forever works with Illinois communities to assist them with a range of services from developing a tree board or adopting tree ordinances to completing an inventory and management plan.

For decades, Trees Forever has helped thousands of community volunteers, civic leaders, government officials and landowners in Illinois and Iowa design tree planting projects. That includes preparing and recovering from natural disasters and invasive pests as well as responding to local needs.

Colette Copic, Morton Arboretum, Chicago Region Trees Initiative Community Specialist
Based in DuPage County, the Morton Arboretum ensures the survival of trees through conservation and science, in addition to providing support for new tree plantings.  In 2014, Morton Arboretum founded the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI), a partnership of communities, individuals, organizations, green industry, businesses, and governments.  CRTI develops and implements strategies for a healthier, more diverse, more equitable urban forest by 2050.

Funding received by the Inflation Reduction Act allows them to broaden their reach to disadvantaged communities downstate, in addition to the northern tier of the state.  CRTI’s funding makes grants exclusively available to communities and organizations supporting underserved populations, in order to provide more equitable access to trees and bolster resilience to climate change.

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