Summer 2010 TREE Fund Report: 2010 STIHL Tour des Trees Continues a Legacy of Trees and Education
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Tree plantings and educational programs are an integral part of the Tour des Trees, and the 2010 STIHL Tour des Trees can take credit for putting a dozen new trees in the ground in northern Illinois, a lasting tribute to the cyclists, the TREE Fund and the generosity of our sponsors and host communities.
Many of our “legacy trees” were planted in the spring and dedicated upon the Tour’s arrival with a blessing and a bit more mulch in hopes of ensuring a long, healthy life.
A State Street maple, specially bred to flourish in the Chicagoland area, was planted during an Arbor Day program at Glen Ellyn’s Arbor View School on April 30. The entire school turned out for a program about trees, proper tree care and the history of Arbor Day presented by the TREE Fund and The Care of Trees. Don Roppolo and Thom Kraak, veteran Tour riders and arborists for TCOT in Wheeling, IL, kept the program fun and informative, then lent a hand as the kids spread the last of the mulch around the tree. The maple was donated to the school on behalf of the TREE Fund and TCOT by Kaneville Tree Farms.
Millennium Park, the crown jewel of Chicago’s parks system and the launch site of the 2010 STIHL Tour des Trees, has three new trees, a gift to Chicago from Bartlett Tree Experts and Moore Landscapes, Inc., on behalf of the TREE Fund and the 2010 Tour. Two white swamp oaks and a concolor fir were installed in late May, and are included in a “tree map” of Millennium Park produced by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Trees Initiative. The trees were dedicated during the Tour launch ceremonies on July 18.
Trees were also planted to commemorate the 2010 Tour in Evanston, Glencoe, Galena and Zion. The Zion Culver’s restaurant feted the riders with frozen custard and an enthusiastic send-off on Monday morning. Moline’s parks department and convention bureau invited local native American dancers to bestow a melodic blessing upon the tree planted near the riverfront by the Tour cyclists, and the Tour visited Kewanee to pay homage to an historic Osage orange tree, the last remnant of a hedgerow planting from the 1800s, and meet the arborists who are campaigning to save it.
Later that day, Princeton’s youngsters were treated to an entertaining and educational program about trees and their care presented by veteran Tour riders and professional arborists Terrill Collier and Warren Hoselton, who added “mad scientist” to their resumes for the day. The cyclists lingered just long enough in Princeton to dedicate a pair of trees in City County Park Friday morning, then finished the day in Naperville, home of the TREE Fund, at a ceremony to welcome the Tour and dedicate a swamp chestnut oak along the city’s scenic Riverwalk.
The Davey Tree Expert Company supported the Tour’s educational mission with book donations to libraries in northern Illinois, a family activity booth and storytelling in Millennium Park and “Ask the Arborist” programs in Millennium Park and Moline.
The Tour was to have concluded on Saturday with a 35-mile Ride for Research, a Family Tree Celebration and tree dedication at Arbor View School, and a finale ceremony and tree dedication at the Morton Arboretum. An epic rainstorm on Saturday morning closed the Arboretum, flooded the roads and effectively washed out the day’s events. The trees, we hope, were grateful for the water.