The U.S. Forest Service has awarded Evanston an $802,500 grant to improve the health and sustainability of the urban forest in Evanston’s channel-side parks.

City officials say the grant, announced Wednesday, will cover a period of five years and will not require any additional financial commitment from the City beyond its regular operations.

The project targets parks along the North Shore Channel from Green Bay Road to Emerson Street.

The proposed work includes:

  • Assessment and removal of hazardous trees to improve public safety and reduce potential risks.
  • Comprehensive pruning of remaining trees to promote their health and longevity.
  • Eradication of invasive buckthorn that threatens native species.
  • Planting trees and shrubs to restore the urban forest.

The city says several community outreach activities will take place as a part of this project, including tree plantings, tree giveaways for private property and updated outreach materials.

Update 9/21/23: The Evanston award was part of $1 billion in grants given to nearly 400 projects around the country. More on what one of the other communities that received a grant, Oakland, California, is planning to do with the grant money in this report.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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