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Forest Glen Is (By Far) Chicago's Leafiest Neighborhood: Report

By  Alex Nitkin and Justin Breen | November 18, 2016 6:07am 

 Forest Glen is home to the North Branch Trail, which spans multiple Cook County Forest Preserves.
Forest Glen is home to the North Branch Trail, which spans multiple Cook County Forest Preserves.
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DNAinfo/Alex Nitkin

CHICAGO — Forest Glen has more than twice as much tree cover as most other neighborhoods in the city, according to a new report revealing the city's most tree-shaded community areas.

Nearly 49 percent of Forest Glen, which spans the neighborhoods of Edgebrook, Sauganash and Wildwood, is under a tree canopy, edging out Beverly's 44.4 percent.

The Nature Conservancy and Morton Arboretum teamed up to map out the "percent canopy" in every Chicago community area. The report notes Chicago contains about 3.5 millions trees, which cover about 17 percent of the city.


The Far Northwest Side and Far Southwest Side are in close contention for the most tree-covered areas in the city.

Forest Glen, North Park and Edison Park rank number 1, 3 and 5 out of the city's 77 community areas for tree cover, respectively. Meanwhile, Beverly ranks second, Morgan Park ranks fourth and West Pullman is sixth.

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The map is part of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, which aims to have a healthier urban forest in the Chicago Region by 2040. The report states investment in tree planting would lead to temperature reduction and improved air quality.

Communities relatively lacking in trees, include Armour Square, Burnside and Fuller Park, could seriously benefit from planting more, according to the report.

“There is a need for more new trees, stronger tree management for existing trees, and collaboration among agencies, scholars, ... etc. to help educate communities about the benefits of trees," said Rachel Holmes, an urban forester with the conservancy and co-chair of the education and outreach committee with the regional trees initiative.

Planting more trees does much more than beautify neighborhoods, according to the authors of the report. Researchers point to improved physical and mental health of residents, reduced flood risk and increased biodiversity in communities with more greenery.

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