Joliet Named Tree City USA for 32nd Consecutive Year – Arbor Day Celebration and Poster Contest Winners Announced

Friday, April 28, 2023, has been proclaimed Arbor Day in the City of Joliet with an official celebration taking place Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at Union School, under the leadership of District 81 Superintendent Tim Baldermann and 5th Grade Teacher Catherine Wikert. Students will participate in a tree planting ceremony.

Winners of the Arbor Day Poster Contest are Isabella Castaneda-First Place, Yareli Allende-Second Place, Olivia Loster-Third Place and Ashley Schomig, Maria Jacobo, Annabel George-Honorable Mention.

The National Arbor Day Foundation recently recognized the City of Joliet as a “Tree City USA” for the 32nd consecutive year. The City received its eighth Growth Award for adopting an Urban Forest Management Plan in 2022. 2023 is the ninth year of a 10-year growing contract that provides 1,000 trees of diverse species for planting in public areas. This yearly planting reduces atmospheric carbon by 65,000 lbs. citywide.

Residents may fill out a request for a parkway tree by going to the City’s website, selecting Departments-Public Works-Forestry-Forms.

Newly planted trees need water to thrive. If soil is dry a few inches down, pour three to four five-gallon buckets of water slowly near the tree or use a slow trickle from a hose for 15 minutes.  Three inches of mulch not touching the trunk of a tree conserves moisture.

Experts estimate that 80% of the urban forest in cities are in residential yards, so residents are encouraged to plant trees on their own property to increase the forest canopy.

Planting and caring for trees benefit all residents. Research has shown that spending time outside in green areas leads to better overall physical and mental health. Walking along streets with trees reduces blood pressure and stress and has been linked to extending life spans among residents who recreate in such areas.