The Village of Gurnee has been named a Tree City USA Community for the 16th consecutive year and has earned the Tree City USA Growth Award for the 10th year from the National Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. The designation and award recognize the Village’s commitment to maintaining an effective forestry program that cares for and manages the Village’s public trees.
To receive this designation, communities must meet four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintain a tree board or department, have a community tree ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrate Arbor Day.
The Village has consistently met or exceeded these standards through its 50/50 Tree Planting Program, annual tree trimming, pest management, and the care and maintenance of the more than 15,000 parkway trees in our community. The Village recently certified a third arborist to assist with these efforts.
In addition, 2012 challenged forestry efforts with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation and the July wind storm that devastated parts of our urban forest.
The Forestry Department responded aggressively to these challenges by successfully treating more than 2,000 trees infested with EAB. To counter the extensive tree loss as a result of the storm and EAB, the Village nearly doubled its budget line for tree planting in 2013. This allowed the Forestry Department to plant a record 277 trees, which are nearly 100 more than planted in previous years. Forestry personnel continued to further species diversification in our urban forest by spreading the 277 trees across 27 species.
The Village of Gurnee is proud to receive these awards which honor its progress in the areas of public education, continuous education of forestry staff, community partnership, and land-use planning coordination. The Village will continue to grow and maintain Gurnee’s urban forest in order to create a safe, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing environment for both residents and visitors.
Please visit the Village’s website for more information about the Forestry program.