The City of Carbondale is one of the few cities in the region that has a Forestery Department. The City of Carbondale has been designated as a "Tree City, USA" since 1981. Not only does our Forestry Program help towards the beautification and overall upkeep of City property, but it also provides information to residents and businesses regarding trees and other vegetation on their properties. Each winter, the Forestry Program provides pick-up and recycling of residents' Christmas Trees, as well as removing and recycling brush produced by storm damage.
The City Forester also meets with community groups and other organizations regarding forestry related activities. If you would like to set up such a meeting, just call City Hall at 618-549-5302 ext.332.
Carbondale has been named Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to community forestry. It is the 30th consecutive year Carbondale has received this national recognition. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. Carbondale has continued to meet the four standards to become a Tree City USA community: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance. “I think that speaks to this area’s environmental record,” Carbondale City Manager Allen Gill* said. “Bordering the Shawnee National Forest really sets the tone for a very green area, and it is impressive to have that long of a record.” Carbondale’s tree stock experienced a large loss in the May 8, 2009 storm during which it is estimated that more than 400,000 trees were lost between Carbondale and the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus. City Manager Allen Gill* stated that the efforts of the Carbondale Park District, Keep Carbondale Beautiful and Ameren had all played significant roles in replacing damaged trees, and in making sure those trees were and continue to be planted in safe areas, away from power lines. “I know that the storm of May 2009 the City’s oldest trees were hit the hardest but one of the things some of the experts have told us, and that has borne out, is some of these older trees being lost have exposed, or made more room for younger trees to grow up and fill the spaces. It was gratifying to see how green the City has remained, even after the storm.” "Trees in our cities and towns help clean air, conserve soil and water, moderate temperature and bring nature into our daily lives," said John Rosenow, president of the National Arbor Day Foundation. "Tree City USA designation recognizes the work of elected officials, staff and citizens who plant and care for the community forest."
*City Manager Allen Gill retired in November of 2011.