10,000 free oak trees to be distributed by Rock River Trail Initiative

Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day by planting a free oak tree!

For the eighth year in a row, the Rock River Trail Initiative (RRTI) will distribute 10,000 trees along the Rock River corridor April 16-20.

Chad Pregracke, president of Living Lands and Waters’ One Million Trees program, has graciously donated over 75,000 trees to the Rock River Trail Initiative and our watershed over the last eight years.

The Rock River Trail Initiative, the Rock River Sweep, and the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department have worked together to organize and distribute the trees from LL&W to all eleven counties in Illinois and Wisconsin which border the Rock River.  The goal is to re-establish native, nut-bearing, hardwood trees along waterways to help reduce erosion, improve water & air quality, provide shelter and food for wildlife, and to improve biodiversity.  LL&W is now working on distributing and planting it’s second million trees throughout the Midwest.

According to availability, each county will receive bur oak, red oak, and swamp white oak saplings. Each sapling is 1 to 2 feet long and bare-rooted. The trees will be distributed in Rock Island, Henry, Whiteside, Lee, Ogle and Winnebago counties in Illinois, and Rock, Dane and Jefferson counties in Wisconsin. Each county will have its own distribution method.

The only caveat is the trees should be planted near the Rock River or near the mouth of one of its tributaries. Trees are available for the public sector: city, county, state, parks, preserves and conservation areas, and for private individuals on farms, residences and businesses along the Rock River—all free of charge.

The Rock River Trail Initiative established a National Water Trail along the 320 miles of the Rock River, from its source above the Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin to its mouth at the Quad Cities in Illinois. This was achieved in March of 2013, when it was designated a National Water Trail by the National Park Service. The Rock River Water Trail was the 10th trail in the nation to achieve such a distinction.  Also in 2013, the Wisconsin and Illinois state legislatures designated the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route on roads adjacent to the Rock River’s course in both states.

Many thanks to all of the great folks who have helped so much, especially Chad Pregracke and Tammy Becker of Living Lands and Waters, and Steve Rypkema of Ogle County.

DOWNLOAD BURR OAK INFO DOWNLOAD SWAMP OAK INFO   DOWNLOAD TREE PLANTING AND CARE INFO

DELIVERY CONTACTS AND LOCATIONS

In Rock Island County contact the Rock Island County RRTI Council Member Dean Mathias, 309-737-8429.

For Henry County contact Dorothy and Carles Brown of the Natural Area Guardians, 309-441-5314, or contact the Henry County Soil & Water Cons. District, 309-973-3377, 301 E North St., Cambridge, IL.

For Whiteside County contact Whiteside County Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Bldg., 16255 Liberty St., Morrison, IL, 815-772-2124 (Ext.3).

For Lee County contact Dixon Park District; Lowell Park Nature Center, 815-284-3306.

For Ogle County contact Byron Forest Preserve District, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, IL, 815-234-8535; or Steve Rypkema of Ogle County Solid Waste Management Dept., 909 Pines Rd., Oregon, IL, 815-732-4020.

For Winnebago County distribution of the trees will be made by the Rockford Park District.  Contact Nathan Hill of the district at 815-289-9901, or the Forest Preserve District of Winnebago County at 815-877-6100.

Stateline Area – Nature At The Confluence in South Beloit, Saturday, April 21, 10am-1pm and Sunday, April 22, 1pm-5pm (while supplies last)- call 815-200-6910 for more information.

For Rock County contact Rock County Land Conservation Department Senior Conservation Specialist Norm Tadt; USDA Service Center, 440 N. U.S. Highway 14, Janesville, WI,  608-754-6617 x117.

In Dane County the distribution point will be the offices of Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, 1 Fen Oak Court, Room 208, Madison, WI; Contact 608-224-3762.

For Jefferson County contact Jefferson County Parks, 311 S. Center Avenue, Jefferson, WI, phone 920-674-7452.

For Dodge County contact Dodge County Land Resources & Parks Dept., 127 E. Oak St., Juneau, WI, phone 920-210-6253.

For Fond du Lac County contact the City of Waupun, 201 E. Main Street, Waupun, WI, phone 920-324-7918.