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Enjoy Free Oak Tree Trail
Posted By Brandon Reid On April 25, 2012 @ 7:05 am In Local News, News | No Comments
• Discover a great way to clean up our part of America with Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful and the Rock River Trail Initiative
By Frank Schier
Editor & Publisher
Hop on down the Free Oak Tree Trail courtesy of Living Lands and Waters’ One Million Trees Program, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) and the Rock River Trail Initiative (RRTI) to find five Winnebago County locations listed below, just in time for Arbor Day.
The main goal of the Rock River Trail Initiative (RRTI), whose parent organization is the 501 (c)(3) Friends of the Rock, is to found a national recreational trail along the 300 miles of the Rock River, from its source above the Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin to its mouth at the Quad Cities in Illinois. Eco-tourism and the resulting economic development and jobs will reinforce the goals of protecting and improving the water quality and general environment along the Rock River.
For the second year in a row, Chad Pregracke, president of Living Lands and Waters’ One Million Trees program, has donated 10,000 trees to the Rock River Trail Initiative, to be distributed to all 11 counties along the Rock River. At the Feb. 3, 2011, Rock River Trail National and State Legislative Briefing in Rockford, Pregracke liked what he heard about the Rock River Trail Initiative so much, he increased his initial offering of 5,000 trees to 10,000. Visit www.livinglandsandwaters.org/milliontrees/default.htm . This will make 20,000 trees Chad has donated and the RRTI has distributed along the course of the Rock River. We are also proud to have him as an honorary RRTI council member. Thanks, Chad!
The tree species are swamp chestnut oak, black oak, pin oak and red oak. Each sapling is 2 to 4 feet long, rooted. The trees will be delivered to the 11 counties of the Rock River Trail. The trees will be distributed in Rock Island, Henry and Whiteside counties April 25; Lee, Ogle, Winnebago, Rock and Dane counties April 26; and Jefferson, Dodge and Fond du Lac counties on Arbor Day, April 27. Depending on the traffic, the delivery may be more prompt.
With the only caveat being the trees must be planted within sight of the Rock River, each of the 11 counties will get 910 trees. The 455 trees are slated for the public sector: city and state parks. The other 455 trees are slated for commercial businesses and residences along the Rock River. The average retail value of each of these oak trees is $30, so that’s a total of $27,300 worth of free trees for each county, or $300,300 worth of new oak trees for the entire Rock River.
For Winnebago County, contact Rockford Park District Natural Areas Maintenance Coordinator Nate Hill, phone (815) 289-9901 Distribution of the trees will be Saturday, April 28, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as supply lasts at RPD Trolley Station, 302 N. Madison. Phone (815) 987-1661.
From 8 a.m to noon, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB), as part of the Great American Clean-up, will offer trees at: • Rockton Village Green Park, 149 E. Chapel St., Rockton; • Roscoe Public Works Building, 5402 Swanson Road, Roscoe; • South Beloit Fire Station, 149 Gardner St., South Beloit; and • New Milford Village Hall, 6771 11th St., New Milford. KNIB phone is (815) 637-1343. The Rock River Trail Initiative Council Members for Winnebago County are Rockford Park District Executive Director Emeritus and Historian Webbs Norman, President of the Illinois Paddling Council Tom Lindblade and The Rock River Times Editor & Publisher Frank Schier, (815) 964-9767.
Yes, the Rock River Trail is being built, and many will be surprised how much of it already exists! Please visit www.rockrivertrail.com .
Many thanks to all of the great folks who have helped so much, especially Chad Pregracke and Ashley Stover at Living Lands & Waters, Rockford Park District’s Tim Dimke, Ron Butler, Dan Erwin and Nate Hill. More partnership thanks go to KNIB’s Lori Gummow and Trish Cielesz. Special thanks to Warren Green, branch rental manager of Penske Truck Rentals in Rockford who has donated an 8,000-pound capacity truck for the pick-up and delivery of the oak trees. For more information, go to www.GoPenske.com . Special thanks to the City of Rockford Administrator Jim Ryan and Mayor Lawrence “Larry” J. Morrissey for the donation of $500 for fuel costs.
Other RRTI county distribution points and schedule
Wednesday, April 25
In Rock Island County, the distribution point will be at Black Hawk State Historic Site maintenance shop, 1510 46th Ave., Rock Island, Ill., April 27, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If this time is inconvenient, contact Marilyn Andress for an appointment at: (309) 292-0690 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . The Rock Island County RRTI Council Member is Chris Ontiveros, (309) 716-0414, e-mail email@example.com .
For Henry County, contact Henry County Soil & Water Conservation District Administrative Coordinator Sharon Matson (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or e-mail email@example.com , or mail 301 E. North St., Cambridge, IL 61238. Phone: (309) 937-5263. The Rock River Trail Initiative Council Members for Henry County are Dorothy and Carles Brown of the Natural Area Guardians. Phone (309) 441-5314.
For Whiteside County, contact Whiteside County Soil and Water Conservation District Resource Conservationist Dave Harrison, USDA Bldg. 16255 Liberty St., Morrison, IL 61270. Phone: (815) 772-2124 (Ext. 3). The Rock River Trail Initiative Council member for Whiteside County is Dave Druen of the Tri city Trailblazers and Friends of the Hennepin Canal. Phone (815) 716-3366.
Thursday, April 26
For Lee County, contact Executive Director Debra Carey of the Dixon Park District, 804 Palmyra St., Dixon, IL 61021. Phone: (815) 284-3306. The Rock River Trail Initiative Council member for Lee County is Debbie Thompson, also board member for The Next Picture Show Gallery, artist and canoeist. Phone (815) 440-1476.
For Ogle County, contact Byron Forest Preserve Executive Director Todd Tucker or Superintendent of Education and Recreation Richie Wolf , 7993 N. River Road, Byron, IL 61010-9533. Phone (815) 234-8535. The Rock River Trail Initiative Council members for Ogle County are President and Vice President of the Illinois Renewable Association Drs. Bob and Sonia Vogl, phone (815) 732-7332, and Oregon Park District Superintendent of Recreation Erin Folk, phone (815) 732-3101.
For Winnebago County, see above.
For Rock County, contact County Conservationist Thomas Sweeney, USDA — Service Center, 440 N US Highway 14, Janesville, WI 53546, located in the USDA Service Center on Highway 14, east of Janesville. Phone (608) 754-6617, ext. 115. Distribution will be Arbor Day, Friday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Rock River Trail Initiative Council members for Rock County are City of Beloit City Councilor Sheila De Forest, phone (608) 312-2695, and Rock County Parks Division Community Coordinator Joleen Stinson, phone (608) 757-5473.
In Dane County, the distribution point will be the offices of Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, 1 Fen Oak Court, Room 208, Madison, WI 53718 ; Contact Pete Jopke by phone at (608) 224-3730 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . The Dane County Rock River Trail Council member is Dave Schreiber, principal, Schreiber/Anderson Associates, phone (608) 255-0800.
Friday, April 27
For Jefferson County, contact Land & Water Conservation Department Director Mark Watkins, 320 Main St., Room 113, Jefferson, WI 53549. Phone: (920) 674-7110 or (920) 674-7111. The Jefferson County Rock River Trail Initiative Council members are Rock River Coalition Secretary and Director James Kerler, phone (920) 648-8005, and Jefferson County Parks Department Director Joe Nehmer, phone (920) 674-7260.
In Dodge County, the distribution point will be the offices of Dodge County Land Conservation Department; 127 E. Oak St.; Juneau, WI 53039; Contact Rock River Trail Council Member Bill Ehlenbeck at (920) 386-3702 or e-mail to email@example.com .
In Fond du Lac County, contact City of Waupun Director of Public Works and Rock River Trail Initiative Council Member Dick Flynn, 201 E. Main St., Waupun, WI 53963. Distribution will be at the City Garage, 903 N. Madison, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Phone (920) 324-7918 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Courtesy of Living Lands & Waters.
The goal of the MillionTrees Project is to grow and plant ONE MILLION trees during the next 5-10 years! Since 2008, we have planted 460,000 trees.
We are growing native hardwood nut-bearing trees that will benefit our rivers and communities. Visit our website for details and more information about this exciting project: www.livinglandsandwaters.org .
Some great facts about TREES!
• Provide food and shelter for birds and wildlife
• Reduce air pollution
• Provide shade and conserve energy
• Reduce soil erosion
• Roots help reduce the amount of pollution and run-off entering our creeks, rivers and streams
• Trees are just plain beautiful and increase aesthetics everywhere they are planted
• Oak trees can reach up to 100 feet tall, and their branches can reach up to 100 feet wide
What goes into growing our trees?
There are many behind-the-scenes activities that require a lot of organization, coordination, time and manpower that contribute to each and every seedling that is given away. We hope, therefore, that you take care of it and are able to give it the attention it deserves. We hope you enjoy your new tree for many years to come!
For more information: E-mail Ashley Stover, MillionTrees Project Coordinator, at:
17624 Route 84 N, East Moline, IL 61244
How to plant trees!
Seedling Planting Instructions
Soak trees in water ONE DAY before planting, but make sure tree stays in bag until then!
1. Scout out an area for your tree that is clear from power lines, other trees, buildings and anything else within 30 feet from tree. Call your utilities to have them mark for underground utilities. If necessary, obtain permission to plant in your desired area.
2. Dig a hole, at least 2 times the width of the root system, so the roots can spread without crowding.
3. Turn the soil up to 3 feet in diameter around your hole to help promote root growth.
4. Place the tree in the hole, with the top of the roots just under the soil line. Make sure the roots are spread out in their natural direction. Do not plant with packing materials.
5. Partially fill the hole with dirt, firm the soil around the lower roots, making sure not to break them. Use water to help reduce air pockets.
6. Fill the rest of the hole up, making sure the root collar is at the soil line, and pack firmly. Do not pack too tightly as this may break roots and slow root growth.
7. Water the tree with plenty of water, making sure to water the entire planting area.
8. After the water has soaked in, place mulch around the tree within 1 inch of touching the tree. Mulch is important for retaining moisture and keeping weeds down.
9. Water your newly-planted tree every week or 10 days during the first year. Water slowly around the drip line. (The drip line is defined by the farthest-reaching leaves/branches.)
10. Enjoy your new oak tree!
From the April 25-May 1, 2012, issue
Article printed from The Rock River Times: http://rockrivertimes.com
URL to article: http://rockrivertimes.com/2012/04/25/enjoy-free-oak-tree-trail/
URLs in this post:
 www.livinglandsandwaters.org/milliontrees/default.htm: http://www.livinglandsandwaters.org/milliontrees/default.htm
 www.rockrivertrail.com: http://www.rockrivertrail.com
 www.GoPenske.com: http://www.GoPenske.com
 email@example.com: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
 email@example.com: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
 email@example.com: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
 email@example.com: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
 email@example.com: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
 email@example.com: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
 email@example.com: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
 www.livinglandsandwaters.org: http://www.livinglandsandwaters.org
 Ashley@livinglandsandwaters.org: mailto:Ashley@livinglandsandwaters.org
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