Openlands' TreeKeepers work throughout the region to keep trees healthy, administering proper care and promptly recognizing and reporting harmful pests. Since 1991, nearly 2,000 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.
TreeKeepers learn how to help keep trees green and growing, volunteering in a variety of situations from street tree care and tree planting to woodland stewardship and advocacy. They are passionate ambassadors who help educate their neighbors as well as their public officials about the importance of trees for the greater good.
For more than 27 years, TreeKeepers have supported the work of local forestry officials, such as the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the Chicago Park District, and the Chicago Region Trees Initiative. There are many other active groups around the U.S. that implement tree care and tree planting by trained, volunteer stewards.
TreeKeepers is a program of Openlands. Founded in 1963, Openlands is one of the nation’s oldest and most successful metropolitan conservation organizations, having helped secure, protect, and provide public access to more than 55,000 acres of land for parks, forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens.
How to get involved
You will need approximately 2-3 hours per week to start a TreePlanters group and then the time required will increase a little around the tree planting day. Managing the maintenance of the trees will take about 2 hours a week.
Here you'll find the information you need to organize a tree planting in your local neighborhood. Openlands will select appropriate trees, help you organize your tree planting day and advise you on the ongoing maintenance of your trees.