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Case Study, Sierra Club and the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center
Alton, IL

The Sierra Club Illinois Three Rivers Project, the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC), and the City of Alton collaborated to plant native trees in areas of Alton that were lacking a diversity of tree species, had limited canopy cover, or had lost trees in past floods. The partners worked together in 2022 and 2023 to plant trees across Alton in various parks, roadways, and public areas thanks to a ‘Recover, Replant, Restore!’ (RRR) grant secured by NGRREC from Trees Forever and the Swarovski Waterschool, along with private foundation funding obtained by the Three Rivers Project. Ameren Illinois’ “Right Tree Right Place” program provided additional support for this project, as well as a generous mulch donation from Lowe’s.

Planting native trees and shrubs is crucial to improving green spaces and recreational areas in our community. Many insects, birds, and animals depend on native trees for food and shelter. Native trees also help prevent soil erosion, resist pests and diseases, and cool down our environment.

The Trees Forever Grant was awarded to the partners in the spring of 2022, and planting occurred over three seasons. In total, 94 volunteers planted 151 native trees in seven parks, the Marina, and along the Broadway Corridor in the City of Alton, IL. This was a collaborative project that fully embodied Trees Forever’s mission “to plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community, and promoting stewardship.” Volunteers of all ages removed invasive species such as Bush Honeysuckle and grapevines from the more naturalized parks, deer-proof fencing was built by YouthBuild, and a creative watering system was developed by the team.

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Marina-Spring-2022
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City-of-Alton-alderman-unloading-tree-delivery
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