SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig today announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has joined forces with Living Lands and Waters to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day by placing 10,000 Oak Tree seedlings throughout the state of Illinois. Springfield School District 186 was one of many school districts statewide to receive a portion (800) of the oak tree seedlings, which were donated to the Illinois Department of Transportation by Living Lands and Waters.
“We are excited to partner with Living Lands and Waters to help educate the public and Illinois students on the environmental impact of planting trees,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “We are very proud of the many green successes at IDOT and will continue our efforts as a department to become greener, more energy efficient and to do our part to have a positive impact on the environment.
All nine IDOT Districts throughout the state will take part in the 10,000 Oak Tree Giveaway and coordinate distribution to local residents and school districts statewide. Living Lands and Waters also donated two hundred larger Oak Trees that will be planted by IDOT employees at rest areas throughout Illinois.
“As educators we strive to teach our students that taking care of the world in which they live is part of their civic responsibility,” said Dr. Walter Milton, Jr., Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools. “We are grateful to IDOT and Living Lands and Waters for helping us provide a teachable moment with the planting of trees. The hundreds of trees they've donated will help students leave a lasting impression on the world.”
Trees provide tremendous benefits to the environment by acting as filters and reducing the amount of pollution. Trees also filter the air we breathe and produce oxygen.
Living Lands and Waters is a 501(c) (3) environmental organization established by Chad Pregracke in 1998 and headquartered in East Moline, Illinois. Living Lands and Waters conduct Community River Cleanups, Big River Educational Workshops, Million Trees Project, River Bottom Forest Restoration and Adopt-a River Mile. The organization has received numerous awards including the Environmental Hero Award in 2007 from then Lt. Governor Pat Quinn for the Million Trees Project.
Earth Day is on April 22. More than one billion people in 190 countries will be part of Earth Day activities on this 40th Anniversary.