Greening our World Today, and in the Future
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETree Planting Commemorates Site of Historic Speech by President-Elect
LISLE, IL (April 25, 2009) - Chicago's Grant Park became even more beautiful this weekend when an historic occasion was celebrated with a special tree planting.
To commemorate the site where Barack Obama addressed the nation upon his election-night triumph last November, The Morton Arboretum, Grant Park Conservancy, and the Chicago Park District held a joyous tree-planting ceremony on Saturday, April 25, at 11 a.m. The public was invited to witness an Arboretum-bred TriumphTM elm being planted in Grant Park's Hutchinson Field.
The Triumph also serves as the Arboretum's congratulations to the City of Chicago for its extensive tree planting-past, present, and future. Top officials of the city, Grant Park Conservancy, Chicago Park District, and the Arboretum took part in the ceremony.
This Triumph is the same, 30-foot-tall, 25,000 pound elm tree that the Arboretum placed on Michigan Avenue from April 19-24, with 2,500 vibrant green ribbons tied to its branches. The ribbons carry messages that Chicago school children wrote about how one tree makes a difference to them.
The Triumph elm itself has made a difference in our lives. Developed by the Arboretum, this elm has been planted throughout the Chicago region to replace stately American elms that fell victim to Dutch elm disease. Triumph is highly resistant to diseases and pests, and is drought-tolerant.
The Triumph will bolster the message that trees are essential in our world, and should inspire all of us to get involved in planting and protecting trees, or support this mission in some manner. Tree-planting is a powerful way to deal with environmental concerns such as global climate change.
Tree appreciation should begin at an early age. To draw youngsters' attention to the benefits of trees, the Arboretum and the City of Chicago's Bureau of Forestry asked fourth graders in Chicago schools-one in each of the 50 wards-to write a brief message on the green ribbons explaining why they like trees. 2,500 of these ribbons were tied to the large Triumph elm, boosting the students' pride in participating in tree-planting and tree-protection efforts.
The Arboretum also is sending representatives to many of these same schools from late April until mid May. They are assisting and supporting some of the classes in tree-planting celebrations and other fun activities, and providing each student an educational item from the Arboretum. The schoolchildren's Arbor Week involvement-from the messages they write on ribbons to their school tree-plantings-is designed to instill a lifelong interest in planting and protecting trees.
For educators, the Arboretum has rolled out a special section of its website at www.mortonarb.org with free, downloadable resources to help teach children about trees in a fun, engaging way. It's designed as a "one-stop-shop" for teachers to find curriculum materials, activities, and games; all geared toward helping teachers meet natural sciences teaching objectives.
The Morton Arboretum gratefully acknowledges our Arbor Week sponsors: JEWEL-OSCO, the Supporting Sponsor, and additional support for education programs comes from JPMorgan Chase and Co.
We also wish to thank Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd., GRO Horticultural Enterprises, and Kaneville Tree Farms for their assistance in the downtown Chicago tree project.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission - the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time or sunset, whichever is earlier. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit Press Room at www.mortonarb.org, call to learn more.