Illinois Department of Natural Resources


"Helping Communities Build Sustainable Local Forestry Programs"


Illinois’ Statewide Urban and Community State Forestry Mission Statement:

Illinois’ Statewide Urban and Community State Forestry program is a part of a $4.7 billion dollar green industry in Illinois. Tree City USA communities alone spend $82.4 million on tree planting and tree care in the 191 participating communities. Illinois Urban and Community Forestry Tree City USA efforts alone serve about 7.2 million or over 65% of Illinois urban and community residents.

The purpose of Illinois’ Urban and Community Forestry program is to assist communities, and other units of local government in the development or expansion of local urban and community forestry programs. This program serves to increase the awareness of the important role of the urban forest in providing 87.8% of Illinois citizens with the amenity values of shade, protection from winter winds or summer heat, protection from air and noise pollution, and reduction of storm water infiltration rates. Illinois’ Urban and Community Forestry program promotes high quality urban and community forestry management resulting in attractive, healthy, rewarding and safe urban/community forests. Sound tree care and urban/community forest management practices provide Illinois citizens with a physically, socially and psychologically safer community environment.

Urban Community Forestry Program - Springfield Officee

The Department of Natural Resources, Urban & Community Forestry Program (U & CF), offers programs that either provide or lead local units of government to technical assistance to communities. Programs and incentives administered by the Springfield office include:

Strategic Plan 2005-2015

  • Tree City USA - a program recognizing outstanding forestry programs


Regional Urban Forestry Councils - set policy priorities and take action locally to network urban forestry resources and promote urban forestry issues and programs - due to current economic and travel restrictions this service is currently on hold.

Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program - Provides grants on a 50% cost share basis for creating, enhancing and developing urban forestry programs

Technical Assistance to Communities - Program Development and site visits may be provided through the Urban and Community Forestry Program


Arbor Day Poster Contest - Encourages young people to plant trees on Arbor Day in conjunction with the artistic expression.  5th-Graders can participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest co-administered within IDNR. This year's theme is "Trees are Cities and Towns!". Each year the theme is "Trees are Terrific....". Details provided in the teachers' packets sent out each fall.

IDNR Famous Historic Tree Arboretum


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