Reforestation program encouraging tree requests - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Reforestation program encouraging tree requests

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Spring is in the air and Rockford has a reminder for a program that can benefit you and the community. 

The City of Rockford Reforestation Program is working to revitalize the area, offering to plant trees for people who want them in their yards.

"We just want to make sure this program is ongoing and that we're constantly pursuing replanting throughout the town," said Street and Transportation Superintendent Mitch Leatherby. 

The program was started in response to the emerald ash borer crisis in 2010 which decimated 5,000 ash trees in the area. 

"This program was brought aboard to replace those and other dying trees on the right of ways to replenish the street tree population."

The city has taken down over 7,000 trees since the program started in 2012 and close to three thousand have been replanted.

While the City feels the program isn't getting enough awareness, the effort isn't going unnoticed.  

"It gives me a feeling of value added. Knowing that the city is doing things and they're out there trying to beautify the city," program participant Jerry Rudolph. 

Jerry Rudolph called about a tree last spring.

Within weeks he had his tree and the city had a strong advocate for its program. 

"It's so simple, you have nothing to lose. If you have a good space to have a tree they'll probably come out and put one," said Rudolph. 

Encouragement from the community is something the city hopes reignites the program and renews Rockford's "Forest City" title.

"The City of Rockford is the Forest City. A lot of people kind of forget that so we want to make sure that we maintain that Forest City culture, that status," said Leatherby. 

Leatherby also emphasizes you don't need to have had a tree removed to have one placed on your property.

"This program isn't necessarily a replacement, a one for one. Even if a homeowner had never had a tree before on their property and if they have a good site, we would give them a tree." 

To request a tree contact Street Division directly at 779-348-7260 or visit the city website Street Division/Forestry section.

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