Become a Certified TreeKeeper

 Openlands trains people to maintain trees.

By Lisa Biehle Files

This summer, Openlands will offer The TreeKeepers Program, a series of classes, at Austin Gardens Environmental Center, 167 Forest Ave., in Oak Park. Classes will be taught by world-renowned experts covering topics such as physiology, soils, pruning, planting, and mulching and will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. throughout the month of June.

In order to obtain certification, students must attend all 8 classes (June 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, and 27), complete field tests, pass a written exam on tree care, promise to volunteer 25 hours within a year after graduation from the course, and adopt public trees in a park or on a parkway.

The TreeKeepers course is $128 (scholarships available). This includes a TreeKeepers manual, safety glasses, certificate, badge, and T-shirt. Participants will not only have a chance to learn how to care for trees, they will also connect with leaders in Chicago's conservation community and the green volunteer community.

For more information, email treekeepers@openlands.org or visit www.openlands.org/treekeepers.