My Suburban Life

Lyons Township High School seeks tree planting volunteers

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LA GRANGE – Lyons Township High School will plant 48 native trees on the grounds of its campuses in Western Springs and La Grange this month, helping restore the urban tree canopy. It seeks volunteers to assist the project.

The saplings will be planted as part of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative and The Morton Arboretum’s 1,000-tree Centennial Tree Planting Initiative, a news release stated.

Sugar maple, persimmon, oak, linden and elm saplings that are 6 to 12 inches tall and weigh upwards of 40 pounds are scheduled to be planted May 14, beginning at 9:30 a.m. A total of 80 volunteers are needed, and are encouraged to register to participate at www.eventbrite.com/e/tree-planting-at-lyons-township-high-school-tickets-259583289607.

No experience is necessary. Volunteers will help dig holes, plant trees, mulch and water. They are asked to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.

To inform students about the initiatives, the benefits of trees and how to identify various characteristics of trees, nearly 90 students interested in the project, the environment and nature, along with members of LT’s Sustainability Club, attended a discussion with Morton Arboretum Stewardship Coordinator Airis Cervantes.

“The diversity of species and the density of trees is dwindling at an alarming rate in and around Chicago,” Cervantes stated in the release.

Planting 48 trees on LT’s campuses is intended to help alleviate heat islands, lowering surface and air temperatures by providing shade. Trees also will help provide rain absorption, absorb carbon gasses and produce oxygen.

Established in 2013, the Chicago Region Trees Initiative is a partnership for coordinated action on key issues facing trees. Organizations and agencies from across the seven-county metropolitan region are working together to leverage funding, knowledge, skills and expertise to build a healthier, more diverse regional forest by 2050.