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Natural Resources Committee makes $10k donation to Geneva to plant downtown trees

Jul 20, 2017 08:56AM ● Published by Ben Scott

Geneva’s downtown tree inventory received another boost this year thanks to a $10,000 donation from the City’s Natural Resources Committee (NRC).

The money reimburses the City for the purchase of 20 new trees, which were planted in June by Wasco Nursery. During the past four years, the committee has contributed $30,000 to plant 75 parkway trees primarily in the downtown.

NRC Chairman Jay Womack and other committee members presented the most recent donation to the City Council July 17.

“Mr. Womack and the Natural Resources Committee are Geneva’s modern version of the Lorax,” Mayor Kevin Burns said. “Their commitment to honoring and restoring Geneva’s native tree population is fantastic.”

The NRC’s mission is to promote awareness and conservation principles in Geneva. The group’s popular Wine, Cheese and Trees fundraiser held last March raised a record $24,000 in donations from residents and local merchants. Money from the event supports the NRC’s “Greening Geneva” initiative – a reforestation program for City parkways. Womack told the City Council he hopes another round of tree planting is possible this fall, which will be completed by Sebert Landscape.

“A number of years ago, the NRC made a pledge to the City to help rebuild the urban canopy,” Womack said. “At that time, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. But, I can say without hesitation, we are so glad to have made the commitment and look forward to continued success so future generations will enjoy the benefits of those trees.”

Residents can mark their calendars for the next Wine, Cheese and Trees fundraiser scheduled for Feb. 24, 2018.

Geneva, like many communities in the Chicago, lost a number of ash trees due to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation. The City has removed about 2,700 of the 2,800 parkway ash trees throughout Geneva during recent years.

The NRC’s efforts to restore the downtown canopy includes purchasing a variety of species that increase Geneva’s tree diversity, which experts believe is the best way to avoid problems like Dutch Elm Disease or the ash borer.

To learn more about the Natural Resources Committee, visit the City’s website at www.geneva.il.us or the “Geneva NRC” on Facebook. 

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