VISION: The Chicago Region will be the greenest, most livable, most resilient region in the North America.
MISSION: The Chicago Region Trees Initiative believes that trees are critical to achieving this vision. We will ensure that trees are healthier, more abundant, more diverse, and more equitably distributed to provide needed benefits to all people and communities that live in the Chicago Region.
To make a significant, measurable improvement to the regional forest and the lives of its inhabitants, CRTI is setting actionable goals for canopy cover, species and age class diversity, and management expertise to create a more resilient forest. We will base these goals on established research and on baseline data of Chicago region forest composition and operational capacity of public and private land owners and managers. We will determine forest composition analysis goals using public and private tree inventories, regional tree census results, and LiDar imagery. We will set goals for operational capacity through a regional forestry operations survey completed by municipal and park district staff and administrative officials. The progress of CRTI will be tracked by continued forest mapping and regional forestry surveys over time.
In July 2014, The Morton Arboretum and Openlands initiated a regional collaborative effort to protect and improve the Chicago Region urban forest—all the trees within the seven counties around Chicago. The Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) has begun by identifying specific challenges faced by our urban forest and its managers and is developing a plan to overcome those challenges and needs by 2050.
An Executive Advisory Council has been formed strategically to represent the interests of the region's stakeholders. Work groups were formed to address specific challenges to the Chicago Region's trees and communities. Browse our website and follow us on Twitter (@ChicagoRTI) to learn more about our ambitious efforts.