SPRINGFIELD –Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig today announced the 10,000 Oak Tree Giveaway of seedlings to school districts throughout Illinois. Many school districts statewide have received oak tree seedlings, which were donated to the Illinois Department of Transportation by Living Lands and Waters. The announcement was made ahead of the designated Earth Day for 2011 in order to reach more students before spring break.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Living Lands and Waters to promote the educational benefits of a greener earth and provide a direct tool to protect and sustain the environment at a local level,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “Under the guidance of Governor Pat Quinn and Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, IDOT takes pride in its leadership in green sustainability efforts in Illinois. The 10,000 Oak Tree Giveaway exemplifies our shared commitment to increase environmental awareness across the state, while at the same time, helps provide a cost-effective way to produce clean air and reduce pollution,” Hannig added.
All nine IDOT Districts will take part in the 10,000 Oak Tree Giveaway and coordinate distribution to local school districts throughout the state and provide ample opportunities to plant seedlings where directed on school grounds.
Trees provide tremendous benefits to the environment by removing carbon dioxide, providing oxygen to breathe and shade for cooling purposes, protecting soil from erosion and beautifying our surroundings.
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.