Chad Pregracke’s Quad Cities-based environmental group needs volunteers to help in a project to improve the future of area waterways. Living Lands & Waters, an East Moline, Illinois non-profit organization is planning to distribute 150,000 free oak tree saplings in April as part of LL&W’s “MillionTrees Project.” The goal of the project is to improve the health of rivers in the Midwest, by re-establishing hardwoods that have been depleted by over-harvesting, flooding and disease.
Volunteers, including families with children, are invited to take part in tree wrapping events being held throughout March and April. “Wrapping 100,000 trees takes a lot of work” said Chad Pregracke, founder and President of Living Lands & Waters. Pregracke adds, “It’s a great venue to help the community and educate people on why trees are important.”
Trees provide shelter and nut-bearing hardwoods are a viable food source for wildlife and migratory birds. Slow-growing hardwoods like oaks have a harder time re-establishing themselves without help, and are often crowded out by faster growing species, like cottonwoods, willow and silver maples. Re-establishing hardwoods helps increase biodiversity, reduce erosion and run-off and improve water and air quality.
Individual registration is not required, but strongly encouraged. Groups of 10 or more should pre-register. Volunteers can stay for an hour or all day. Hard working volunteers will receive LL&W MillionTrees Project t-shirts. For questions or to register, please contact Ashley Stover at Ashley@livinglandsandwaters.org or at 309.737.5913.
Tree wrapping events will occur at the following places and locations:
QCCA Expo Center, Rock Island:
March 13, 9am-5pm March 14, 9am-5pm March 15, 9am-5pm
March 16, 9am-5pm March 17, 9am-5pm March 18, 9am-5pm
Volunteers should show up at the North Hall of the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 4th Avenue, Rock Island.
LL&W Headquarters @ (17624 Rte. 84 N, East Moline, IL)
March 5-10, 8am-5pm
March 26-31, 8am-5pm April 2-20(excluding Sundays), 8am-5pm
Volunteers will be asked to help with the following: bundling trees in newspaper, dipping roots in water, placing trees in bags and/or tying. Participating children MUST be supervised. Volunteers are asked to wear warm and comfortable clothes that can get dirty.
Trees will be distributed in April to individuals, families, schools, businesses and organizations throughout 8 states. The saplings will also be distributed to the general public during the QCCA Lawn and Garden Show, March 23-25th on a first come, first serve basis. The goal of the MillionTrees Project is to grow and plant 1 MILLION trees.
Anyone interested in volunteering may contact MillionTrees Project Coordinator, Ashley Stover at Ashley@livinglandsandwaters.org or at 309.737.5913. More information on the MillionTrees Project can be found at http://www.livinglandsandwaters.org/milliontrees/default.htm