Evanston Residents Receive Early Registration for TreeKeeper Training Program

Openlands, an organization dedicated to protecting the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois, is bringing its popular TreeKeeper Training Program to Evanston in September. The course aims to inform how trees function to sustain urban environments, while educating about the skills and understanding of urban forestry.

The training course is led by experts in tree care, and topics such as tree biology, soils, tree identification, pruning, tree selection, planting, pests and diseases will be covered. Participants will also have the opportunity to talk and work with several organizations and volunteers involved in green initiatives around Chicago.

Early registration is available now through Saturday, July 23. To register, community members should call/text 847-448-4311 or email sustainability@cityofevanston.org. Starting July 25, registration will be open to the general public.

Tuition for the program is $128 with limited scholarships available through Openlands. Tuition includes a one-year membership to Openlands, a TreeKeepers certificate, TreeKeepers badge and a TreeKeepers t-shirt.

The training course will take place on Thursdays, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., September 17 through October 13 at the Evanston Ecology Center, located at 2024 McCormick Blvd. in Evanston.

To become a certified TreeKeeper, participants must:

  • Attend all eight classes (missed classes may be made up at a subsequent series)
  • Pass a written exam (60% passing)
  • Complete practical exams on tree planting, mulching and pruning
  • Pledge 25 volunteer hours within the year following graduation
  • Adopt public trees in a park or on a parkway for a long-term project
  • Have fun while learning about the urban forest!

Those who would like to learn more about the TreeKeepers Training Program are encouraged to join the Evanston TreeKeepers at Dempster Street Beach House, 1251 Lakeshore Blvd., on Saturday, July 16 at 10 a.m.

Evanston-based TreeKeepers work with the Environmental Services Bureau of the City’s Public Works Agency year-round to provide vital support and advocacy for Evanston’s urban canopy. Many Evanston residents and City staff have participated in the TreeKeepers Program.

Additional information can be found in the City’s recent press release or at openlands.org/treekeepers. To learn more about the significance of trees and see a map of Openlands’ tree plantings, visit: http://www.openlands.org/trees.

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