The mighty oak tree is featured during the month of October, which in 2015, was proclaimed as Oak Awareness Month in Illinois. The focus on oak trees comes as a result of their decline in the state of Illinois. At one point in history, oak trees comprised 60% of the tree canopy in the Chicago area. Currently, only 5% of the region’s trees are oak trees. The oak tree plays a crucial role in our local ecosystems by providing food for more than 100 species of wildlife and shelter for birds and mammals.
The Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CTRI) is the largest coalition in the country, working within seven counties and includes local organizations dedicated to growing a healthier and more diverse regional forest. The CTRI is leading the campaign during the month of October to bring awareness to the importance of protecting our oak trees. State-wide events include wine tastings, woodland walks, restoration camping events and oak tree planting days.
Want to celebrate OAKtober? Click here for ideas and more information on OAKtober Illinois events.
Have your own idea for celebrating the majestic oak tree? Leave a comment!