How to Apply

Below we have answered some frequently asked questions to help you as you complete your application for an Openlands TreePlanters Grant.

Step One: Complete the Application
Step Two: Identify Potential Planting Locations
Step Three: Recruit Volunteers

Step One: Complete the Application

The first step is to fill out a simple form so Openlands can gather general information about your proposal.

Openlands TreePlanters Grant Application

Who can apply for an Openlands TreePlanters Grant?

The Openlands TreePlanters Grants are for residents of the City of Chicago and the near south suburbs. Applications can be submitted on behalf of community groups, volunteer organizations, local businesses, and neighborhood associations. For any additional eligibility questions, please contact trees@openlands.org.

A member of Openlands Forestry team will next be in contact with you after you submit your application form. Once you have been contacted by Openlands, proceed to Step Two: Identify Potential Planting Locations.

Step Two: Identify Potential Planting Locations

Once you have spoken with Openlands about the planting, we ask you complete our TreePlanters Grants Volunteer Agreement. Next you will need to identify potential planting locations.

Where can we plant trees?

Planting locations must be in the city of Chicago or the near south suburbs and on public land. Public land is considered to be the parkways between the curb and the sidewalk in front of residential houses, school property, and some vacant lots. We will no longer accept proposals that are solely for planting in Chicago Parks.

What information is needed to request a tree on a parkway?

Someone in your household will need to provide their name, phone number, and agree to care for a tree during its establishment period (three years). This information allows Openlands to secure planting permits in the public right of way.

You can use this form to collect this information from your neighbors.

How many trees do we need to plant?

To qualify for a weekday planting we need locations for 10 trees.  To qualify for a weekend planting we need planting locations for at least 20 trees.

If we have locations for over 20 trees are we guaranteed a weekend day?

Due to the limited number of available weekends during planting season (April-May and September-October), not all weekend qualified grants will be able to planted each season. If you have submitted a quality project but we are unable to schedule your planting for the coming season, we may roll your application over to the next planting season.

Once we have a date confirmed for your planting, you can begin recruiting volunteers!

Step Three: Recruit Volunteers

The tree planting is a community engagement and education opportunity, so we need the community to be together. Openlands will provide additional resources to help with event promotion, and you should encourage all volunteers to register in advance of planting day using the unique event link.

Local volunteers will be best suited to provide tree care for the three years following the planting. On planting day, Openlands and our trained TreeKeepers will assist volunteers with planting trees

How many volunteers are needed on planting day?

We require one volunteer per tree being planted, with all residences receiving trees being represented by someone. Volunteers will typically work in groups of four or five on planting day.

Do you have flyers and information to help spread the word about trees and the planting day?

Once we have a planting day scheduled, we need to spread the word and gather volunteers. Openlands will help publicize the planting event, but the best way to recruit volunteers is to go directly to your neighbors using the TreePlanters Grants Volunteer Agreement. You can also spread the word on social media, tagging Openlands on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Once you have completed all three steps, we will be ready for planting day.

For more information on the Openlands TreePlanters Grants or with additional questions on how to apply, please contact trees@openlands.org or call 312.863.6256.