MWRD to begin weekly oak sapling distributions on Wed., May 4

A new initiative designed to restore the urban canopy and manage Cook County’s stormwater will continue as the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) begins distributing free saplings to residents of Cook County at six water reclamation plants every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon.

The MWRD will distribute the free tree saplings beginning May 4 at the Calumet, Egan, Kirie, Hanover Park, O’Brien and Stickney water reclamation plants. In addition, the MWRD will distribute free trees during public tours and open houses on Saturday, May 21, from 9 am to noon at these facilities.

The MWRD’s new program is called “Restore the Canopy, Plant a Tree.” Trees are an important part of Chicago’s ecosystem. They provide rain absorption and a canopy that reduces city heat island effects. They also absorb carbon gasses and produce oxygen.

“There is no limit to the benefits that trees, especially oak trees, provide to our region,” said MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos. “Trees can keep neighborhoods cooler and lower energy bills, provide oxygen and shade, buffer noise, provide protection from wind, and most importantly in our case, absorb water. We invite schools, community groups, and municipalities in our area to participate, and together build our canopy.”

The saplings will be individually potted. Planting and care instructions, along with additional information regarding the benefits of trees, will be provided. Photos can be posted on Facebook or Twitter @mwrdgc #myMWRDtree.

The MWRD is mapping the location and neighborhoods of where the canopy is being replenished so a street address of where trees are to be planted is requested upon receipt.

For more information, please contact the MWRD Office of Public Affairs at public.affairs@mwrd.org or by calling (312) 751-6633.

Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) addresses: Calumet WRP, 400 E. 130th St., Chicago, IL Egan WRP, 550 S. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL Hanover Park WRP, 1220 Sycamore Ave., Hanover Pak, IL Kirie WRP, 701 Oakton St., Des Plaines, IL O’Brien WRP, 3500 Howard St., Skokie, IL Stickney WRP, 6001 W. Pershing Rd., Cicero, IL

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