Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.

Growing MWRD tree program shelters region from storms

Friday, September 23, 2016
Special to

It's been four months since the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) introduced a free tree distribution program, and leaves are already sprouting in hopes of restoring the region's tree canopy and managing local stormwater.

Driven by the devastation of the emerald ash borer and extreme weather events that have led to the loss of approximately 13 million trees, the MWRD staff set off on an ambitious plan to restore the Cook County canopy. In distributing more than 14,000 oak tree saplings as part of the Restore the Canopy, Plant a Tree program, the program has garnered instant attention thanks to the support of MWRD Vice President Barbara McGowan and the MWRD Board of Commissioners. The Board endorsed the program to offer trees to the public as an aid in coping with overwhelming storm events. Vice President McGowan is leading by example. Her sapling has already grown about a foot and sprouted leaves in a few short months.

"In restoring the canopy, we are working to prevent flooding, improve local water quality and promote resource recovery," said MWRD Vice President Barbara McGowan. "We thank the thousands of homeowners, schools and community groups that have participated in this program to protect our water environment and plant a promising future for many beautiful tree-lined streets and backyards."

Since launching the program in April, the MWRD has forged partnerships with 25 different municipalities, 30 schools and 46 community groups to distribute more than 14,000 free tree saplings to restore the canopy.

Trees reduce city heat island effects, absorb carbon gases, produce oxygen, improve the habitat for wildlife, and serve as an effective form of green in­frastructure to reduce flooding. Promoting trees became a natural fit in the MWRD's pursuit of improving stormwater management. Since the Illinois General Assembly delegated the MWRD as the stormwater management authority of Cook County in 2004, the agency has studied and introduced creative solutions to meet this challenge. The MWRD has distributed over 72,000 rain barrels, constructed massive stormwater reservoirs, transformed Chicago Public School grounds to better contain stormwater, implemented various green infrastructure programs and flood control projects and is now distributing tree saplings. A large oak can reduce 5,400 gallons of stormwater runoff. If 14,000 trees are planted, more than 75 million gallons of stormwater storage will be provided. These numbers are expected to grow as the number of distributed trees grows.

The program has also allowed the MWRD to combine its goals of resource recovery with stormwater management by planting the tree saplings in the MWRD's biosolids compost blend, a sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers derived from the MWRD wastewater treatment process. The MWRD trees saplings are available as red oaks, bur oaks, pin oaks and shingle oaks and come in individual pots or in bulk bags of 100 bare root saplings. Planting and care instruc­tions, along with additional information regarding the benefits of trees, will be provided with each delivery. With advanced notice, the saplings can be picked up at MWRD facilities or delivered.

To participate in the program, visit or contact MWRD Pub­lic Affairs at (312) 751-6633 or The MWRD also distributes free trees every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon, at our water reclamation plants.

Recent Headlines

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Sunday, November 13, 2918
Chicago Sun-Times

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

HOPE Court, created to keep probationers out of prison, shut down amid problems
Friday, October 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Can Kaegi really reform the assessor's office?
Friday, October 26, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.