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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2007

186 Illinois communities honored with Tree City USA designation
Tree City USA communities to be recognized at the 2007 Tree City USA Conference and Awards Ceremony

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today announced that 186 Illinois communities have received the Tree City USA designation for managing their local community forest resources in an effort to enhance citizen safety and welfare.  These communities will be presented with awards on March 27 at Morton Arboretum, Lisle, and at the Northfield Center in Springfield on March 29.

Tree City USA is a part of the Urban and Community Forestry profession and a part of a $4.7 billion industry in Illinois.  Illinois ranks second in the nation for the number of communities participating in the Tree City USA program, an honor it’s held for more than a decade, and first in the nation for Tree City USA Growth Award communities.  This is the 31st year for the national Tree City USA program. 

“Recognition as a Tree City USA community is an important designation, and for more than a decade, Illinois has ranked among the top states in the nation for participation in this program.  I applaud the local communities for their dedication to maintaining a healthy community forest,” said Dir. Flood. 

The Tree City USA program promotes tree planting and care programs in urban areas and calls public attention to the economic, health and aesthetic benefits trees offer.  Citizen participation in community reforestation and beautification efforts is encouraged through this program.  The Tree City USA program provides support to communities to assist in the battle against exotic invasive species such as emerald ash borer (EAB).

“Annually, Illinois Tree City USA communities spend more than $83 million collectively on tree planting and tree care,” said IDNR Program Administrator Reinee Hildebrandt.  “With the newly found emerald ash borer, many local budgets are hardly adequate to address the EAB infestation facing Illinois.  Wilmette alone faces a $2.5 billion impact to its community forest, but as a Tree City USA community, it is ready with staffing and forestry budgets to begin its battle with the EAB.”
 
To be eligible to participate in the Tree City USA program, a community must legally designate a city official or volunteer tree advocate as having authority over the management and care for the urban forest.  The second standard is to have a community tree ordinance that specifically recognizes the designated tree authority and identifies urban forest management and tree care standards by which the community will abide.  Third, the community must expend $2 per resident for its urban forestry program.  Illinois communities expend an average of more than $11.57 per capita.  The final requirement is to conduct an annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony with an official Arbor Day proclamation being developed for announcing the day of the celebration.

First year participants in the Tree City USA program include the communities of DIXON, ROUND LAKE, SYCAMORE, TROUT VALLEY, and WAUCONDA.  Other milestone communities include: Five Year Awards – Edwardsville, Lake Barrington, Charleston and Savoy; Ten Year Recognition – Aurora, Batavia, Channahon, Glendale Heights, Gurnee, Lindenhurst and Wayne;   Fifteen Year Recognition – Antioch, East Peoria, Hinsdale, Lisle, Macomb, Marshall, St. Elmo, Streamwood and Vernon Hills; Twenty Year Recognition – Berwyn, Bloomington, Des Plaines, LaGrange Park and Orland Park; and Twenty-Five Year Recognition – Chicago.

This year, 47 Tree City USA communities will receive the “Growth” award to recognize additional efforts that are being accomplished to improve basic urban forestry programs.  This is the first year the communities of DeKalb, Lincoln, Macomb, and Savoy will receive this award.  The 10-year Growth Award – called the Silver Certificate Milestone – was reached by: Champaign, Genoa, and Northbrook. To qualify for a Growth Award, a community previously must have been designated a Tree City USA participant, conduct a variety of urban forestry activities, and spend at least the same amount of money on its program this year as last year.  Illinois’ state program ranks first in the nation for Tree City USA Growth Award Communities.  The City of Chicago, with 15 years of participation, holds the record for the Illinois community with the most number of years participating in the Tree City USA Growth Award.

The Tree City USA program is annually sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry Program, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the U.S. Forest Service.  Through the State of Illinois Urban and Community Forestry Program, the IDNR offers communities technical and financial assistance in urban forestry efforts.  Information is available by contacting the Urban and Community Forestry Program, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.

The annual application deadline for the Tree City USA program is December 31.  This year’s awards will be presented on March 27 at Morton Arboretum, Lisle, and at the Northfield Center in Springfield on March 29.  Southwestern Resource and Conservation Development, Inc. co-sponsors the Springfield event.  Morton Arboretum co-sponsors the Northern Illinois event.

Attached is a complete list of Tree City USA honors.

TREE CITY USA LISTING
  Attached is the list of 2006 Tree City USA communities.  The first number is a counting number. The number behind the community name represents the number of years of participation in the Tree City USA program.  An asterisk indicates a community also receiving a GROWTH award.  The number to the far right is the counting number for the GROWTH awards.  Both GROWTH and NEW TCU communities are in bold print.

 TREE CITY USA RECIPIENT LIST, 2006
             TCU  GROWTH
 CITY       #of Years      # of Years Growth count
        
1. ADDISON*      19   11   1 
2. ALGONQUIN     11
3. ALTAMONT      21 
4. ALTON       13
5. ANTIOCH     15
6. ARLINGTON HEIGHTS  22
7. AURORA    10     
8. BANNOCKBURN              16
9. BARRINGTON               21
10. BARRY                             9
11. BATAVIA*                           10           6                       2
12. BEECHER                           17
13. BELLEVILLE                          14
14. BENSENVILLE                       19
15. BERKELEY                             8
16. BERWYN                          20     
17. BLOOMINGDALE                  12
18. BLOOMINGTON                    20
19. BOLINGBROOK*                 17         14  3
20. BROADVIEW    4
21. BROOKFIELD*                     26   14  4
22. BUFFALO                       21  
23. BUFFALO GROVE       19  
24. BURR  RIDGE            13
25. CARBONDALE   26
26. CARLINVILLE                 6
27.       CARROLLTON                                 17
28. CENTRALIA       18
29. CHAMPAIGN*   22   10  5 
30. CHANNAHON     10
31.       CHARLESTON     5              
32. CHICAGO*    25   16  6 
33.       CHILLICOTHE   17
34. CLARENDON HILLS  17
35. CLINTON                            6
36. COLLINSVILLE   24
37. COUNTRY CLUB HILLS*  17   4  7
38. DAKOTA      9
39. DECATUR    26  
40. DEKALB*                             9   1  8
41. DES PLAINES   20
42.       DIXON  NEW    1
43. DOWNERS GROVE*  23   8  9
44. DUQUION*      3   2  10
45. EAST PEORIA   15
46. EDWARDSVILLE*     5   4  11
47. ELBURN      8
48. ELGIN     17  
49. ELK GROVE VILLAGE  22
50. ELMHURST    27
51. EVANSTON*    23   8  12
52. FORREST                              6
53. FORRESTON      7
54. FORSYTH                11
55. FRANKFORT    11
56. GALESBURG         7   
57. GALVA     22
58. GENEVA       9
59. GENOA*     13   10  13
60. GLEN ELLYN*   23   11  14
61. GLENCOE*    23    8  15
62. GLENDALE HEIGHTS  10  
63. GLENVIEW    22
64. GRAYSLAKE   13  
65.      GREENVILLE    12
66. GRIDLEY      9
67. GURNEE*    10   6  16
68. HAMPSHIRE       3
69. HANOVER PARK   22     
70. HAZEL CREST*   22   11   17
71.       HENNEPIN        2
72. HENRY     11
73. HICKORY HILLS   11      
74. HIGHLAND*    18   8   18  
75. HIGHLAND PARK   27
76. HINSDALE    15
77. HOFFMAN ESTATES  16
78. HOMEWOOD*       9    8  19
79. INDIAN HEAD PARK  17
80. INVERNESS    16
81. IRVING     13
82. ITASCA    22
83. JOLIET     16   
84. KANKAKEE    11
85. LA GRANGE    24
86. LA GRANGE PARK   20
87. LAKE BARRINGTON*    5   4  20
88. LAKE BLUFF       11  
89. LAKE FOREST   27
90. LAKE IN THE HILLS*    3                         1           21
91. LAKE ZURICH *    12     7  22  
92. LAKEWOOD                   6
93. LANARK     14
94. LIBERTYVILLE    14
95. LINCOLN*      6   1  23
96. LINCOLNSHIRE*   18             14  24
97. LINCOLNWOOD     9 
98. LINDENHURST*   10                       6                    25 
99. LISLE     15
100. LOMBARD*    17   12  26
101. MACHESNEY PARK  21
102. MACKINAW      6
103. MACOMB*    15                                 1                    27
104. MARQUETTE HEIGHTS  16
105. MARSHALL    15
106. MARTINSVILLE   13
107. MASCOUTAH                3 
108. MATTESON    16
109. MCHENRY     13
110. MIDDLETOWN   17
111.     MOKENA      2
112. MOLINE*    16   8  28
113. MORTON GROVE       6
114. MOUNT CARROLL   19
115. MOUNT PROSPECT *  22              6                      29
116. MOUNT VERNON*     13    9  30
117. MOWEAQUA   19
118. NAPERVILLE*   17             15  31
119.     NEW LENOX                                      7
120. NORMAL*      8   5  32
121. N. BARRINGTON      7
122. NORTHBROOK*     13   10  33
123. NORTHFIELD   22  
124. O’FALLON       9
125. OAK LAWN     11                               
126. OAK PARK    23            
127. ORLAND HILLS   18
128. ORLAND PARK*   20    9  34
129. OSWEGO*     13              6                      35
130. OTTAWA*       8    2  36
131. PALATINE*    22                                6                      37
132. PALOS HEIGHTS   17
133. PALOS HILLS   19     
134. PALOS PARK     3 
135. PARK RIDGE *   23                          11                   38
136. PAXTON              18
137. PEKIN     17
138. PEORIA    22  
139. PETERSBURG   14   
140. PLAINFIELD*   16   5  39
141. PRINCETON    18
142. PROSPECT HEIGHTS*     9   7  40
143. QUINCY    21
144. RANTOUL    21   
145. RIVER FOREST        9
146. RIVER GROVE      12
147.     RIVERDALE      6                                
148.     RIVERSIDE       2
149. RIVERWOODS      4
150. ROCK ISLAND   17  
151. ROCKFORD    18   
152. ROLLING MEADOWS  18
153. ROSELLE    21
154.     ROUND LAKE  (NEW)                    1
155. SALEM    17
156.     SAVOY *                                       5     1  41
157. SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE   14
158. SKOKIE*     21    11  42 
159. SOUTH ELGIN     3
160. SOUTH HOLLAND      6
161. SPRINGFIELD   19
162. ST. CHARLES*      9     8  43
163. ST. ELMO     15
164. STEWARD      3
165. STOCKTON      4
166. STREAMWOOD     15 
167. SUGAR GROVE   13
168.    SYCAMORE (NEW)                          1
169. TAYLORVILLE   19
170. TOWER LAKES   14
171.    TROUT VALLEY  (NEW)                 1
172. URBANA*    31   15  44
173. VERNON HILLS   15
174. VILLA PARK    22
175. WARRENVILLE   21   
176.     WAUCONDA  (NEW)      1
177. WAYNE     10
178. WESTERN SPRINGS  23
179. WESTMONT*    11         5  45 
180. WHEATON    21
181. WHEELING*    17    5  46
182. WILMETTE*    23              12  47
183. WINNETKA    14
184.     WOODALE                                         2          
185. WOODRIDGE   16
186. ZION     11



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