August Sustainability News: Tree Fund, Green Living Festival & More!


“I Heart Evanston Trees” Campaign Fall Preview


Since the “I Heart Evanston Trees” campaign was launched on June 22, Evanston residents have stepped up and raised more than $6,800, which is enough for the Parks & Forestry Division to purchase 28 more trees this fall season! These donations are from more than 200 donors, comprised of Evanston residents and tree-loving people from as far away as the United Kingdom, thanks to outreach efforts by Citizinvestor, a crowdfunding website.

To help reach our goal of purchasing 100 new trees ($25,000) by the end of September, the Parks & Forestry Division is offering a “Tree Replant Express – Fall 2013” service so Evanston residents can purchase their own parkway trees from the city which will be guaranteed to be planted this fall. This program will help all Evanston residents receive trees faster, regardless of whether or not they sign up for the program, as these are trees which would otherwise not be purchased until a later date.

Since the invasive beetle known as the  Emerald Ash Borer struck Evanston in 2006 and demolished more than 2,000 trees, the Forestry Division has had to divert a large portion of human and financial resources to removing ash trees to prevent the beetle from infecting more trees. This has been unfortunate for a number of reasons including causing Evanston residents to have to wait 2-3 years before a new tree can be planted on their parkways.


To help raise more community awareness of Emerald Ash Borer’s destructive impacts on our urban forest, City foresters painted nine trees along Sheridan Road blue that are all up for removal in the next couple months due to this beetle. This has effectively captured the attention and hearts of residents and news sources alike given the influx of concerned calls and news stories arising following the tree painting on Thursday, August 8.

The City of Evanston’s Parks & Forestry Division has also been busy reaching out to community members at a number of festivals this summer, including the Ethnic Arts Fest and Lakeshore Arts Fest, and has also engaged in educational and invasive plant removal work days with campers at the Evanston Ecology Center. The Parks & Forestry Division is looking forward to reaching out to more community members at the upcoming CommUNITY picnic as well as the Green Living Festival, which is themed “Preserving & Protecting our Urban Forest” on Saturday, September 28 at the Evanston Ecology Center (2024 McCormick Blvd).

To learn more about Evanston’s urban forest or donate to the tree fund, click here.

Tin Can Collection Sustainability Project for CommUNITY Picnic


Come join us at the CommUNITY Picnic  on Sunday, August 25 from noon to 5:00 p.m. in Ingraham Park, located west of the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Avenue. There will be free food, games, giveaways, and entertainment.

There will be a recycled craft project using tin cans to create pencil holders at this year’s picnic! In order to make this a successful event, we are asking for tin can donations. You can drop off your cans at the Levy Center, Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, Ecology Center, Main Library, Central Street Library, and Chicago & Main Branch Library. Please wash out your cans and try to eliminate any sharp edges. Click here>>> for drop off locations.

Reminder – Share the Road & Bike Safely


Bicycles are fun, “green”, and a healthy form of transportation. However, every year hundreds of cyclists are killed and tens of thousands more are injured in preventable crashes. The majority of severe injury and fatal crashes involve cars. Many of these incidents are the result of motorists’ failure to properly yield to bicyclists.

Motorists should remember to look for bicyclists who are turning or continuing straight. Also, check for bicyclists riding along the edge of traffic before opening car doors. Bicyclists should watch for both turning and parked motor vehicles and clearly communicate their intentions to motorists with proper hand signals.

Additionally, use helmets, visible clothing, lights and designated bike lanes. We can minimize risk, maximize fun and enjoy the freedom of bicycling by understanding the importance of wearing proper safety gear, bike maintenance and operating a bike safely. Read more>>>.

Tips for Green Living – Protecting Our Urban Forest


The term urban forest refers to all publicly and privately owned trees within an urban area – including individual trees along streets and in backyards. Urban forests are an integral part of community ecosystems, whose numerous elements (such as people, animals, infrastructure, etc.) interact to significantly affect the quality of urban life. Trees capture rainfall and help control urban storm water runoff, provide shade, and remove dust and pollutants from the air. A health urban tree canopy can remove as much as 42,000 tons of carbon from the air each year!

The main culprits responsible for the death of Evanston trees are Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) or Dutch Elm Disease (DED). Neither EAB nor DED would be nearly as devastating to our tree population if there had been greater historical effort to plant a wider variety of tree species. However, we can all become better tree stewards. If you suspect a tree on your parkway may be infected with EAB or DED, call 311 and put in a request to have it inspected! Some additional ways to help ensure the survival of trees include: locking your bike to a bike rack instead of a tree, supplying some water to trees when a rain event has not occurred in a week, pruning trees in their early growing stages so that they do not waste energy growing branches, and more!

Openlands TreeKeepers Course  Starts Sep 14


Want to gain a more in-depth understanding about how to become a better tree steward? For the first time ever,  Openlands, a land conservation non-profit organization, is offering a Treekeeping course right here in Evanston beginning Sept. 14. The course meets every Sat. from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for eight weeks and will cover topics such as tree biology, soils, tree identification, proper tree care and more! More>>>.


Bike Event Closes Out the Summer Sep 22

The Evanston Bicycle Club is sponsoring the 29th annual ride on Sept. 22. The North Shore Century offers incredibly scenic biking, offering a variety of well-mapped and well-marked rides for biking enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. There will be frequent rest stops, stocked with snacks and drinks. All routes depart and finish at Dawes Park. More>>>.

2013 Green Living Festival Exhibitor and Vendor Registration Continues


Save the date for the Evanston Green Living Festival to be held on Sat., Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. The Festival is an annual event presented by the Evanston Environmental Association and the City of Evanston to present products, ideas, and services that will help attendees lower their carbon footprint. Activities for children, food and drink are available all day at the festival. Admission is free, and people are encouraged to come with family and friends to discover exciting new ideas on how to lead a greener life. The 2013 festival theme is “Preserving & Protecting the Urban Forest.” Registration is still available for those who wish to sponsor or exhibit at the estival. More>>>.

Bike the Ridge on Sep 29


Join for the Annual Bike the Ridge ride! Ridge Avenue will be closed to all vehicular traffic between Howard and Church streets from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Bicycles are not permitted on Ridge Avenue at any other time, so come out and enjoy this non-competitive special event. A list of activities held along the route will be posted closer to the date of the event. Click here to volunteer or call 847/448-8103. More>>>.