About CRTI

Working toward a more sustainable and equitable seven-county regional forest

CRTI is a partnership for coordinated action to improve the health, diversity, and equitable distribution of trees to benefit people and communities in the Chicago region.

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A Partnership
for Trees and People

CRTI is a partnership of communities, individuals, organizations, green industry, businesses, and governments working together to develop and implement strategies for a healthier, more diverse, more equitable urban forest by 2050.

Chicago’s regional forest is critical infrastructure, a community asset, that needs protection and improvement. Trees clean our air and water, reduce flooding, save energy, improve property values, provide habitat for wildlife, and contribute significant social and health benefits to people. In short, trees improve our quality of life.

But the region’s trees are threatened by many challenges including invasive plants and pests, development, and a lack of funding for planting and proper care. As the largest initiative of its kind in the United States, CRTI leverages funding, knowledge, skills, and expertise to reach the goals of its comprehensive Master Plan.

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Mission and History

CRTI was established in 2014 by The Morton Arboretum following the first comprehensive tree census in the Chicago region, which revealed a regional forest facing multiple threats. Today, with more than 200 partners, it is the largest initiative of its kind in the country, with leading organizations and agencies from across the seven-county metropolitan region working together to build a healthier, more diverse, and more equitably distributed regional forest.

Learn more: Mission and History

Partners

CRTI connects more than 200 partners who are working together to improve the regional forest. Partners across the region, including public and private landowners and managers, engage and take ownership in ensuring a healthy forest for the region.

Learn more: Partners

2050 Master Plan
for Trees

In 2019, CRTI developed a comprehensive Master Plan to ensure that trees are healthier, more abundant, more diverse, and more equitably distributed to provide needed benefits to people and communities across the Chicago region. The primary goals of the Master Plan are to:
  • Inspire people to value trees

  • Increase the Chicago region’s tree canopy

  • Reduce threats to trees

  • Enhance oak ecosystems

The Chicago region will be the most verdant, most livable, most resilient region in North America.

Contribute to a greener, healthier Chicago region.

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