Looking ahead to plant in spring

Staff Writer

Openlands, an organization that protects the natural and open spaces of Illinois, is accepting applications for its 2016 TreePlanters Grant.

The grant will be used to plant trees in neighborhoods throughout various communities, and residents in Chicago have from now until Jan. 11 to apply for a chance for their community to take part in the grant.

Applicants are required to identify locations in their neighborhood for 10-30 trees to be planted on public land.

In September, Openlands planted a total of 20 trees in Hyde Park, along 54th Street and South Shore Drive, with the help of volunteers. The organization planted trees to replace the ash trees that have succumbed to the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle that destroys ash trees.

The organization has planted trees a few times in Hyde Park in the past, but Hyde Parkers have the chance to apply for more tree planting through the TreePlanters Grant. If chosen, the trees will be planted in the spring.

To apply for a Hyde Park spot in the grant, visit http://www.openlands.org/treeplanters-grant.