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Yorkville seeks grant to replace trees lost to emerald ash borer

Updated: March 1, 2013 6:30AM

YORKVILLE — The city is seeking a $10,000 grant that would replace about 100 trees lost to the emerald ash borer.

The funding would be through the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, which sponsors a grant program, known as the Mitigating Emerald Ash Borer Impacts on the Urban Forest.

Laura Schraw, the city’s interim parks and recreation director, said the program provides grants to communities to plant trees.

Applicants must be located in the Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Zone, which includes Yorkville, she said.

The city tried for a similar grant last year and was turned down.

“We are hoping our chances are really high,” Schraw told the City Council this week. “The Morton Arboretum said we were close last year.”

Yorkville’s tree inventory found more than 1,600 ash trees in fair or poor condition through emerald ash borer infestation. The city is planning to take all of those trees down.

Yorkville’s population of 16,840 means the maximum the city can get from the grant program is $10,000.

Yorkville would match the funds in staff time and labor for planting the trees.

The grant application is due on Feb. 1, and while it does not require City Council approval, Schraw wanted to inform the council about it this week.

One resident, Fred Anderson, a council candidate in the April election, said he was pleased the city could apply for a grant, even if it is only for 100 trees.

“If you walk down a street without trees, there are no birds flying around, it’s kind of stark,” he said. “A grant like this is just the beginning.”

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