FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Openlands Media Relations
Yamys Urbano Valencia, PR and Communications Associate
The Board Will Help Care for And Seek to Increase The City’s Tree Canopy In the Face of Climate Change
(Chicago – January 18, 2023) – A year and half after the Urban Forestry Advisory Board (UFAB) Ordinance passed unanimously, Openlands celebrates the appointment of the board’s first members, including Openlands Vice President of Community Conservation, Daniella Pereira. Originally proposed by Alderperson Scott Waguespack, along with Alderpersons Samantha Nugent and George A. Cardenas, the UFAB passed City Council in June 2021, with 27 Alderpersons co-sponsoring the bill before the ordinance’s unanimous passage 49-0.
The 2020 Tree Census published by the Morton Arboretum underlined that Chicago’s tree canopy decreased by an alarming 3% over from 2010-2020, to just 16%, one of the lowest tree canopies of any major US City. Mayor Lightfoot’s recent investment of planting 75,000 trees over the next five years moves the city forward. Now, with the UFAB properly in place, the board can promote policies and investments that support care and maintenance across City departments, ensuring those newly planted trees are not lost, and the tree canopy grows.
“Having a board dedicated to strategically caring for Chicago’s tree canopy makes the city stronger and more resilient by investing in nature-based climate solutions and improving the health and well-being of communities throughout Chicago,” stated Daniella Periera, Vice President of Community Conservation at Openlands. “I’m grateful to join this board and be able to shape investments and policies with my colleagues that protect and grow Chicago’s tree canopy.”
About Openlands Urban Forestry Programs: Rooted in its deep understanding of the Urban Forest, Openlands equips communities in the region with the resources needed to protect trees effectively and efficiently in neighborhoods and throughout the region. Working directly with and in communities to plant diverse native tree species, Openlands trains hundreds of people annually to properly care for the tree canopy in parks and city blocks, and advocate for science-based policies and strategies protecting the existing urban forest. Ensuring communities across Chicagoland enjoy trees’ health, economic, and societal benefits while mitigating against the worst effects of climate change for generations to come.