Our Roots Chicago’s Tree Ambassador Program provides community members with training, resources, and funding to enrich the urban canopy and build a community of tree advocates.
The goal of the Tree Ambassador Program’s is to increase tree canopy in priority areas, increase tree advocacy, and increase engagement in support of trees. It is made possible by the City of Chicago Department of Public Health, The Morton Arboretum’s Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI), and community-based organizations. The program is built around cohorts of four or more community partners on a typical two-year time frame. To form each cohort, community organizations apply to the program and are selected on their capacity to engage the public in tree-centered training and workshops.
The grant recipients are given priority status in their neighborhoods to request trees get planted in the parkways through the CHI 311 app by the City of Chicago. After the Tree Ambassador training, the tree ambassadors scout out tree planting locations. The canvassing process will include looking for utility boxes, checking for overhead wires, and letting the property owner know that they will be receiving a tree so that they can care for it properly.
Over the two-year period, the Tree Ambassador Program grant recipients can request as much as $20,000. These funds can be used to recruit tree ambassadors, supply community members with the proper working equipment, and financially support the community organization. Through training and community engagement, program participants will directly increase support, care, and advocacy for trees. Based in partnerships with community-based organizations this program will help fulfill our collective vision of an equitable and green Chicago.
Grow Greater Englewood and Imani Village community members gather for a photo after completing a Tree Ambassador training on August 28, 2023.