Klehm Arboretum officially launched a $500,000 campaign today aimed at long-term preservation of the region’s tree canopy.
The Community Trees Program already has about $140,000 pledged, which includes $10,000 each year for the next three years by the city of Rockford, Winnebago County, Winnebago County Forest Preserve and Rockford Park District.
The presence of the invasive emerald ash borer is the catalyst for the program.
“It’s much bigger than a re-forestry effort. It’s a community beautification effort,” said John Richards, president of the board of directors at Klehm Arboretum.
Klehm hosted a news conference today under a beech tree with green leaves changing to a burnt orange color. Officials from the Park District, Rockford, Winnebago County, Forest Preserve and Community Foundation of Northern Illinois spoke at the news conference.
Officials hope to meet the $500,000 goal by Arbor Day, which is April 27. Read more HERE. They also will set up an endowment fund for long-term sustainability of the areas forestry.
Donations can be mailed to Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, IL 61102. All gifts are tax deductible.
For more information, call Jane Snively at Klehm Arboretum at 815-965-8146.