CHICAGO — Residents have until June 15 to apply for a chance to beautify their street, freshen their air, lower their energy bills and deter crime on their block — all for free.
The nonprofit forestry group Openlands has opened applications for the fall session of its biannual TreePlanters Grants program. Residents can apply individually or with their neighbors for a cluster of up to 50 trees wherever they live.
This year's first round of grants, awarded in March, delivered 30 new trees for Edgebrook resident Lidia Pomaville and her neighbors. Similar planting projects were also undertaken in Sauganash and Norwood Park.
Foresters often tout the broad rewards of greening urban spaces, from cleaning the air to improving storm drainage. Some point to studies suggesting that greener blocks see less crime, because they're a sign of community upkeep and investment.
Openlands plants between 300 and 500 trees around the city every year.
The Northwest Side already is the home of some of the city's leafiest neighborhoods, although the Far South Side is a close contender.