Orland Park Awarded Urban Forestry Grant

Village of Orland Park Awarded Urban Forestry Grant
Posted on 02/26/2021

Orland Park, IL (February 26, 2021) — The Village of Orland Park was recently awarded a grant to complete an inventory and develop a management plan for trees located at Village parks and facilities


“The Village of Orland Park’s landscape is abundant in natural, beautiful terrain,” said Mayor Keith Pekau. “This grant will assist in not only securing this important part of the environment within the Village, but will strengthen its existence while nurturing its growth moving forward.”


The funds are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Urban and Community Forestry Core Grant Program, and administered by The Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI). 


“We appreciate the grant provided by the USDA, IDNR, The Morton Arboretum and CRTI,” said Village of Orland Park Operations Manager Mike Mazza. “This funding will allow for the creation of a 10-year plan that will outline urban forest goals and actions items for implementation.”


Great Lakes Urban Forestry Management (GLUF) is in the process of conducting an inventory of the approximately 5,000 trees located at Village parks and facilities during January and February, 2021. Once complete, Public Works Staff will work with GLUF to create a Forestry Management Plan, which will help establish short- and long-term urban forest goals for 2021-2031. Forest management action items will be recommended based on a tree inventory. (i.e., prioritized planting locations, a cyclical pruning schedule, etc.).

Outlined will be specifications for planting, pruning, removals, and construction protection as well as required and recommended certifications, qualifications, and training for staff, contracted labor, and consultants. Finally, material and budget projections and considerations will be presented along with educational and outreach for residents.

“Subsequently, the Village hopes to complete a similar process for parkway trees,” said Mazza.

The grants provide communities with a better understanding of the urban forest areas they’re managing by revealing an estimated number of trees, their size, condition and species. The inventories will also identify opportunities to increase planting, and will inform the development of a comprehensive, long-term urban forest management plan.


“Urban trees are critical infrastructure for a community, and this funding helps to protect one of its most important resources,” said Lydia Scott, director of CRTI. “Trees clean our air and water, reduce flooding and heat, improve our mental and physical health, and provide important habitat for birds and other wildlife.”