In addition to the City’s current tree planting program, two of Elgin’s oldest neighborhoods received some additional new parkway trees this fall, thanks to funding from the Gifford Park Association and Sustainable Neighborhoods Grants from the City of Elgin.
Additional parkway trees were planted throughout the Gifford Park Neighborhood (GPA) as well as the Summit Park Neighborhood at locations selected by the associations and city foresters, based on a commitment from the homeowners to water and care for the newly planted trees. The Gifford Park Association received $5,000 and the Summit Park Neighborhood received $2,000 from the Sustainable Neighborhoods Grant Program, which was matched with money from GPA, allowing the city forestry department to purchase additional trees for planting throughout the neighborhoods.
The volunteer group of Carol Anderson, Margaret Keen & Barbara Counterman wanted to do something that would have a lasting impact in their neighborhood. “So many of our older trees were lost due to age and storms, and we knew it would be a challenge for the City to replace them all” commented Carol Anderson. “We helped extend the city’s existing tree planting program by providing additional funding and volunteer hours to implement it. The result is a benefit to our entire neighborhood”.
Not only did GPA help their own neighborhood, they reached out to their neighboring association, the Summit Street Neighborhood, and provided the matching funds needed for a tree program for that neighborhood also. Darlene Burnap and other Summit Neighbors did the legwork of surveying the neighborhood, but the fledgling group did not have cash funds to match the city grant requirements. That is where GPA stepped up and offered to provide the matching funds to their neighbors. Speaking for the neighborhood, Darlene Burnap commented on the neighboring support from GPA. “We really appreciate GPA’s good-neighbor spirit. Since our neighborhoods are next to one another, it’s important that we collaborate to stabilize and beautify our historic neighborhoods.”
The Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program guidelines were modified in 2011 to require that all projects must demonstrate sustainable practices and reflect the city’s overall goal of sustainability.
Assistant to the City Manager for Community Engagement
City of Elgin