$100,000 Given for Trees
Below is the speech that Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin gave to attendees at a celelbration on Arbor Day, 2021:
"It’s a pleasure to be here with you to celebrate Arbor Day 2021 in the Tree City of Urbana, Illinois with a very special announcement. The City of Urbana has received donation of $98,650.00 for tree planting in the public right-of-way. The generous and public-spirited donor wishes to remain anonymous.
They have asked that the donation be used to plant trees specifically in the Community Development Target areas and in the Illinois Solar for all Environmental Justice neighborhoods. These are neighborhoods with lower incomes and/or higher numbers of minority residents.
We estimate that this donation can fund the planting of at least 200 additional street trees over the next three years. These trees are part of our essential infrastructure, just like sidewalks, streets, and sewers. Our urban forest infrastructure must be maintained and we must invest more in its care.
This investment in trees is also an investment in health, equity, resilience, and quality of life in our community. Trees shade our streets, cool our homes, and reduce stormwater runoff and energy consumption. They remove carbon from the air and help prevent global warming. And they help create a beautiful, stately public landscape that improves quality of life throughout the city.
And when our street trees reach the end of their lives, they continue to give to the community. The Landscape Recycling Center and our arbor crews transform the trees into mulch, firewood, and sometimes dimensional lumber.
Please join me in thanking the community member who has chosen to leave this living legacy on our city streets. Their generous and civic-minded contribution will benefit generations that follow and it will help make our city healthier, more equitable, and more resilient to climate change.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity on Arbor Day to thank the dedicated members of the Arbor Division staff in the Public Works Department, led by City Arborist Kevin Sanderson. Kevin also works closely with Scott Tess, our Sustainability and Resilience officer. These professionals take great care when they plant, prune, and monitor the thousands of trees that line our streets and initiate programs to enhance the natural health of our community."
-Diane W. Marlin April 30, 2021