Case Study, Bridgewood Public Housing, Murphsyboro, IL

Shawnee Group, IIllinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, Newsletter
Bridgewood, Trees Forever write-up by Emily Ehley, newsletter, summer 2023

Jane Cogie of the Shawnee Group Sierra Club, Wade Halva of Faith in Place, and Marilyn Tipton of Carbondale Food Autonomy came together through the Tree Equity Group of the Downstate Caucus of the Clean Jobs Coalition with the intention of improving tree equity in southern Illinois. They collaborated with the Jackson County Housing Authority to apply for a Trees Forever RRR grant to plant at the Bridgewood public housing community in Murphysboro.

They were awarded the grant in the fall of 2022 and held the tree planting on March 24, 2023. In total, over thirty people braved rough weather to plant 45 trees, plus donated native shrubs.

Match, in the form of volunteers as well as in-kind and cash donations, came from Senators Terri Bryant & Dale Fowler, Tabor Nurseries, Egyptian Electric, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Neighborhood Co-op, Carbondale Food Autonomy, the Shawnee Group Sierra Club, and the Jackson County Housing Authority. Cookie donations for this event came from Cristaudos in Carbondale, Heather’s Bake Shop in Carterville; and One Hot Cookie in Murphysboro. 

This was a truly collaborative project that fully encapsulated the Trees Forever mission to plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community, and promoting stewardship. Indeed, the Jackson County Housing Authority staff jumped in fully as active partners, providing energy, leadership, and labor, key to making the Planting Day smooth running from start to finish.

Photo Credits to Sarah Lewison