The Calumet Stewardship Initiative (CSI) is a coalition that promotes a sustainable relationship between people and nature in the Calumet region of Northwest Indiana and Northeast Illinois. CSI envisions a Calumet region marked by vibrant communities and cultures, healthy natural areas, and a strong economy. The Stewardship Team works on promoting, increasing, and documenting volunteer participation and volunteer opportunities related to restoration and management of sites in the Calumet region. Through communication with each other and cross-promotion, CSI member organizations recruit, train, and share volunteers to accomplish our work. They enrich the existing volunteer program by building leadership skills among experienced people to recruit, train, and lead new volunteers to help steward the Calumet region.
MaryJo Viero and Margot Holland come back each season to Openlands with requests for more trees for various groups in Beverly. They have helped plant 75 street trees with six different planting events since 2014 and will be planting 30 more trees this November!
BIG’s innovative approach creates an environment that leads to lasting change. They weave culture, both historical and present, to connect their residents to their community’s land. Their projects include a nod to their ancestors with a fruit orchard, a beautiful teaching garden, creating a tree inventory, and their ultimate goal of achieving arboretum status. Most of all, they are eager to teach so that their members can use their voices to advocate for the change they want to see.
Daniella's team has demonstrated an ability to bring together community leaders, foresters, and landscape professionals for advocacy of trees. Since 1991, more than 1,800 trained volunteers have provided eyes and ears on the ground year round in neighborhoods all over Chicagoland to identify potential tree-related problems and lead neighbors in tree planting and tree care.
Davey Tree Experts has dedicated time and expertise to several CRTI programs and work groups. The strength of their training and research branches (including all of the work that has gone into iTree) is an asset that has improved care of trees in this region. Furthermore, they consistently support appropriate landscape management in their recommendations and communications, which impacts the care of trees by many other people and groups following their lead.
This board has an incredibly diverse membership that has worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to become a Tree Campus USA, create and maintain a tree inventory and management plan, build diversity on campus and become an Arbnet certified Arboreta.
Partnerships for Success
Hobson Oak Project: Naperville Parks Foundation, The Morton Arboretum, Wehrli Furniture, Naperville Park District, and Possibility Place Nursery
The Hobson Oak was located near Hobson and Greene Roads in DuPage County, Illinois. It was a legacy bur oak that stood proud and strong since pre-settlement days. It has been carefully taken down. DuPage County and the Naperville Parks Foundation will work together to preserve the legacy of this special tree. Acorns were gathered in September 2016. The majestic Hobson Oak was carefully taken down November 17, 2016. The idea is to sell saplings and woodcrafts of the Hobson Oak to benefit local charities. Acorns are being germinated by the Morton Arboretum and Possibility Place Nursery. Wood will be kiln dried. The public is invited to participate.
Jim quietly works throughout Homewood to grow and expand tree canopy in a very diverse way - arguably has most diverse inventory of trees in region. He jumped on EAB mitigation before it became a devastating proplem in his Village and assisted all surrounding towns. Jim provides urban forestry, safety, and arboricultural training to surrounding community professionals (and pre-professionals) to raise the level of professionalism and skill in south Cook County. Jim is also a member of the IDNR Illinois Wildfire response team, traveling to other states to assist with wildfire suppression.