The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Village earns 31st consecutive Tree City USA award

Feb. 6. 2015 - The Village of Oak Park has been named a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation for the 31st year in a row.

Public Works Director John Wielebnicki said that even after so many consecutive Tree City USA awards, he is always excited with the honor because it acknowledges the skill and commitment of the Forestry Division to providing the highest quality of care for the nearly 19,000 trees on parkways throughout the Village.

“The Tree City USA award is recognition of Oak Park's commitment to the best management practices, principles and procedures that are so important to keeping the community safe, while also maintaining the health of our urban forest,” he said. "It is always an honor to receive this award."

Village Forester Robert Sproule called the award an acknowledgement of the hard work that goes into maintaining Oak Park’s trees under conditions that can be hard on most tree species.

“Trees in an urban environment such as Oak Park are constantly under assault from road salt spray, large trucks and storm damage, as well as insects and disease that can wreak havoc in a dense, compact area,” Sproule said. “My staff and I are fortunate to work in a community that understands the importance of tree care and whose citizens are willing to provide the resources it takes to maintain a healthy, diverse urban forest.”

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.

"Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Oak Park make smart investments in urban forests," said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits."

Cleaner air, improved storm water management, energy savings and increased property values and commercial activity are among the benefits enjoyed by Tree City USA communities, Harris said in a news release announcing the award.

For more information on the Village's forestry programs, call 708.358.5700 or email

More information on Tree City USA is posted at

photo of Village Forester Rob Sproule
Village Forester Rob Sproule