Kewanee Awarded a $220,685 Grant from the USDA to Plant New Trees and Replace Dying Trees


The City of Kewanee was one of 385 cities across 50 states selected to receive a grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of the 2023 Urban and Community Forestry Grants.   Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) and the USDA announced a $220,685 grant for the City of Kewanee to support a project that will plant more trees in the community, improving air quality and lowering temperatures for residents. 

“Extreme weather has plagued our region, making it difficult for Illinoisans to live comfortably— especially during the summer months,” said Sorensen. “Trees are vital to our communities. They improve air quality, help lower energy costs, sequester carbon, and help prevent flooding by managing stormwater. I am proud to see Kewanee receive this investment to develop ways to mitigate the impact of extreme weather by growing more trees so we can build a more sustainable region for future generations.” 

“We’ll be removing trees that aren’t a good fit for our area, but we’ll be replacing them with trees that serve as an asset to our neighborhoods,” said Kewanee City Manager Gary Bradley. “With the funding provided through this grant, we’ll have trained staff and the proper equipment to manage our urban forest in the future.” 

This award will allow Kewanee to manage its urban forest and support a project to plant more trees in the community. The grant will be used to train and certify two public works employees to become arborists, hire and train a seasonal employee, create a city tree board, develop a Community Forest Tree Management Plan, and plant new trees. 

The grant will also help Kewanee address several concerns with trees, including heaving and buckled sidewalks in residential areas. The city also has several dead or dying trees, particularly of the Ash variety, and other invasive varieties of trees that need to be removed and replaced. 

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