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It is more than a tree that got planted by the village government last week at The Park to celebrate Arbor Day. The bur oak at Harrison Street and Beloit is a symbol of a Forest Park newly dedicated to our endangered planet.

There is a surge of environmental stewardship rising in Forest Park and it is a wonder to watch. Happily there is powerful grassroots organizing at work here. Now more fully coupled with support from village hall, fine things are happening. Tim Gillian, village administrator, has long been a proponent of projects like the community garden. John Doss in public works has also been a positive force. Now there are allies on the village council, especially Commissioner Jessica Voogd. Together they are applying to the National Arbor Day Foundation for designation of Forest Park as a Tree City USA.

This is not just a logo to put up on the village website. It declares that our natural world will not simply heal itself. We need, even this small burg at the edge of the big city to actively affirm that we will act intentionally to make wise choices.

The pandemic limited the scope of Arbor Day celebrations. There were to be, and someday there will be, trees planted at each school. All of these trees are being donated by McAdam Landscaping, one of Forest Park’s most community-minded businesses.

In dark days such as these, Arbor Day represents a happy step to the future.