IAA Annual Day of Service

2021 Day of Service


The Illinois Arborist Association provides a Day of Service annually for charities, not for profit organizations or green spaces in need of help in low-income areas that have a significant collection of trees that they would otherwise be unable to afford to maintain.  Member companies typically donate one or two crews and their associated equipment. The IAA Day of Service provides an opportunity for companies to give back to the communities while also gaining publicity. In some cases, we utilize this event to help train inner city, underprivileged individuals at the same time.
On October 21st the IAA held its annual Day of Service at Busse Lake Boating Center, a property of Forest Preserves of Cook County, in Elk Grove Village. Below is how this IAA event came to fruition and the support given by IAA members and member companies that contributed to our incredible achievement.
I met with Nick Kuhn, the Forest Preserves Resource Manager, in mid-May to go over the scope of work they would like done. There was an enormous amount of tree care work to be done along a ¾ mile stretch of roadway, parking lots, 9 groves and 4 shelters. The 9 Groves and 4 shelters, range in personnel capacity from 100 to 350 each. The scope of tree care work involved pruning deadwood 2” and larger, elevate 8 – 10’ over turf areas and 12 – 14’ over roadways, water sprout removal to 8’ on the trees and ornamentals from the Preserve entrance to the boating launch area, which is approximately ¾ of a mile long. We also removed 9 hazardous trees throughout the Preserve, ranging in diameter from 19” to 33”. One honey locust tree needed a support system installed requiring two ¼” EHS cabling systems, using through hardware as anchors.
The IAA Staff sent out email blasts asking for help and the response was slow at first, but more and more members were responding to help, right up to a couple of days before the event.
On the day of the event we had 63 volunteers with 11 aerial lifts, 5 chippers with trucks, 2 log loader trucks, 2 material handlers and 1 tractor with forks. The 63 volunteers were broken into 7 groups, each having a least 1 aerial lift, in 7 different zones along the ¾ mile stretch. They get an incredible amount of work done.
Thank you to the following individuals and companies, respectively, for donating employees and equipment for our Day of Service: Andrew Smolen, Tom Miller, Tony Perez, Dan O’Brien and Russo Power Equipment, Sean Zieche and Davey Tree Experts, Alan Seal and Kramer Tree Specialists, Jerome Scott and Treekeepers, Sunrise Tree Experts, Mike Bramucci and Advanced Treecare, Ken Loar and The Village of Vernon Hills, Ed Garry and Elk Grove Village, Nick Kuhn and Forest Preserves of Cook County. Tony Dati brought a drone for some awesome aerial images. April Toney and Monica Korjenek did all of the ‘behind the scenes’ logistical work (coffee, donuts and snacks, waiver forms, Certificates of Recognition, ordering lunch, ordering ball caps for 50 arborists, transporting climbing gear for training [more on that to come], printing maps for the 7 different work zones, picture taking). I did all the personnel organizing for the 7 different work zones with the appropriate equipment for each.
A huge Thank You to Jim Seckelmann and The Mulch Center for providing lunch to all the volunteers. Who doesn’t like PIZZA!
In addition to the work being performed, IAA also provided climbing training to Openlands Chicago, with our own 2-time women’s division Tree Climbing Champion, Felicia Speranske, as the instructor. [That is why the IAA staff transported climbing gear.]
Our annual Day of Service was a HUGE Success. We valued our tree care work done at $60,000.00. We couldn’t have done it without the much valued and appreciated support of all those involved.

Thank you to The Mulch Center for sponsoring lunch!