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Trees Throughout Chicago To Inspire Residents To "Be A Tree Champion" This Arbor Day

A tag that reads trees need water hangs from the branch of a tree on a busy Chicago street.
Tree tags share what trees in our cities need to thrive.
April 20, 2016

-The Morton Arboretum’s fifth-annual citywide Arbor Day Tree Tagging Campaign, generously sponsored by Bank of America, takes place April 22-May 9-

To celebrate Arbor Day and inspire Chicagoans to “Be a Tree Champion,” staff from The Morton Arboretum and  a team of volunteers will be taking to the streets on Friday, April 22 to place nearly 2,000 tags on city trees as part of the organization’s annual Tree Tagging Campaign.

The Morton Arboretum is grateful for Bank of America’s sponsorship of the 2016 Arbor Day Celebration.  Additional partners include the City of Chicago, the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, the Chicago Loop Alliance, the Oak Street Council, and ABC7 Chicago.  

For the past four years, The Morton Arboretum has mobilized a team of corporate and staff volunteers to distribute tags on trees across the Chicago area to celebrate Arbor Day. The tags will be up from April 22-May 9. Chicagoans can check out tips on how they can champion trees not only on Arbor Day, but all year long.

Additionally, ten premier cultural institutions in the city and western suburbs have partnered to support the Arboretum in championing trees, taking part in the Arboretum’s 2016 Tree Tagging Campaign to draw attention to the importance of trees in our lives, and to motivate Chicagoans to be a “tree champion” in their neighborhoods.

The Tree Tagging Campaign is part of the Arboretum’s Chicago Arbor Day outreach, which also includes an April 29 Arbor Day Celebration at Daley Plaza, including a one-of-a-kind living billboard and a Pop-Up Plant Clinic, where the Arboretum’s tree and plant experts will offer free advice to anyone looking to be a better steward of trees. In addition, Arbor Day events take place at the Arboretum’s Lisle home all April long, culminating in a weekend full of “tree-mendous” events for the whole family on April 29-31, including the Arboretum’s annual Plant Sale, and Kids Storytime and Tree Planting with Curious George and “Dress Like a Tree, Get in Free” all day long on April 29. 

Arbor Day and The Morton Arboretum
As part of its mission to plant and save trees, The Morton Arboretum has a unique connection to Arbor Day. To encourage the planting of trees, the first Arbor Day was organized in tree-barren Nebraska in 1872 by Secretary of Agriculture J. Sterling Morton, father of Joy Morton who later founded the Arboretum. The Morton family motto was “Plant Trees,” which inspired Joy Morton, president of the Morton Salt Company in Chicago, to carry on that legacy at his estate in west suburban Lisle, where he established an arboretum, or outdoor museum of trees, in 1922. Today, all 50 states and many countries around the world recognize Arbor Day in honor of trees and their value to us. Arbor Day in Illinois is the last Friday in April, but other states observe Arbor Day on different dates according to their best tree-planting times.