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Illinois’ Statewide Urban and Community State Forestry program is a part of a $4.7 billion dollar green industry in Illinois. This green industry includes the arboriculture, horticulture and landscaping industries, municipal and park district public lands, and several non-profit organizations. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry Program is the official state contact for the USDA Forest Service’s urban and community forestry program and the official partner with the Arbor Day Foundation for Tree City USA, Growth Award, Tree Campus USA and Tree Line USA program administration.
The purpose of Illinois’ Urban and Community Forestry program is to assist communities and other units of local government in the development or expansion of local urban and community forestry programs. This program serves to increase the awareness of the important role of the urban forest in providing 87.8% of Illinois citizens with the amenity values of shade, protection from winter winds or summer heat, protection from air and noise pollution, and reduction of storm water infiltration rates.
Illinois’ Urban and Community Forestry program promotes high quality urban and community forestry management resulting in attractive, healthy, rewarding and safe urban/community forests. Sound tree care and urban/community forest management practices provide Illinois citizens with a physically, socially and psychologically safer community environment.
The state urban and community forestry program has several sub programs including: technical outreach through the Tree City USA, TCU Growth Award, Tree Campus USA, Tree Line USA programs. IDNR also contracts with universities and non-profit organizations to provide technical outreach. Financial outreach is provided through the Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Act Grant program and the sharing of information about other grant opportunities. Additionally, special projects emerge such as the Smokey Bear/ Emerald Ash Borer tree Kiosk and the Famous and Historic Tree Arboretum on the Illinois State Fair Grounds. Learn more about these program components on this website.