Environmental Organizations And The City Of Alton Plan Fall Tree Planting Through Trees Forever Program.

ALTON - The City of Alton, Three Rivers Project of Sierra Club Illinois, and the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) is calling for volunteers to help plant trees in many different Alton parks throughout autumn, the first of which will be at the Alton Marina and along Broadway Street, in downtown Alton on Monday, October 17. Building on a successful spring tree planting project, Alton is planting trees across the city 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. The City of Alton secured additional support for this project from Ameren Illinois’ “Right Tree Right Place” program. To volunteer at the first tree planting session, RSVP at https://fb.me/e/232rJLQK7.

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“The Recover, Replant, Restore! grant is funded through a partnership between Trees Forever, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Forest Service, and helps communities throughout Illinois recover from natural disasters, replant with a diverse, disease and storm-resistant selection of tree species, and restore a healthy and beneficial community forest,” says Trees Forever Field Coordinator Emily Ehley. “These grants are unique because Trees Forever not only supplies funding to get trees into the ground but also provides the technical assistance and long-term support necessary to grow strong and resilient urban forests.”

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The Sierra Club Illinois Three Rivers Project, NGRREC, and the City of Alton are prioritizing planting native trees in areas of Alton that do not currently have a diversity of tree species, have limited canopy cover, or have lost trees in past floods. Volunteers are needed to help plant these trees this fall and are invited to join the first planting session on Monday, October 17 at the Alton Marina at 10:30 am, moving to various Broadway locations thereafter. Volunteers should wear boots or shoes they don’t mind getting muddy and bring gloves and a water bottle. The event coordinators will provide tools.

“Native trees are critical to improving green spaces and recreation areas throughout our community, while also helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and supporting the ecology of the Metro East region,” says Christine Favilla, co-Coordinator of the Three Rivers Project of Sierra Club Illinois. “Many insects, birds, and animals depend on native trees for food and shelter. Native trees also help stop soil erosion, resist pests and diseases, and help cool down our environment.”

“This project has allowed organizations and community volunteers to come together to help restore habitat and plant trees throughout the Alton area,” says Sarah Fisher, NGRREC Director of Environmental Education. “The impacts of this project will last for years to come.”

“Trees help create neighborhoods,” says Ward 7 Alderman Nathaniel Keener. “They give us shade and fresh air, improve property values, and they create an inviting atmosphere for folks who may want to make Alton their home. This has been such an exciting project to work with."

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