GIS Supports Honorary Tree Planting Program

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There are many different ways that a local municipality can engage
their residents to take part in the community and contribute to the
daily operations and occurrences. For example, there are citizen
emergency response teams, volunteer crossing guards, volunteers for
special events and many more.

One similar program that the Village of Morton Grove, IL is looking
to institute is an Honorary Tree Planting Program. This program would
allow a Village resident to purchase a tree, with supervision from the
Village arborist, and have it planted in honor of someone specific. The
idea of this program is to give Village residents the opportunity to
honor someone special at the same time they can help out the community
financially. In planning for this program, Village employees have been
looking for a way to promote it as well as make it accessible to the
public in an easy manner. Accessibility would mean that the end product
would have to be visible on the internet so that family and friends who
do not live in the Village could still see the honorary tree that was
planted as well as where it is located within the Village.

For this portion of the program the Village decided to enlist the
services of the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Department in
order to publish these honorary trees out on the internet. This process
would be handled by a Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file and would sit
atop the Google maps framework. Once completed, an internet address
will be placed on the Village’s website that will redirect the users to a
Google map of all of the trees that have been planted in honor of
others.

At this moment the mapping portion of this project is only in its
beta stages but if carried out properly it could easily help the program
grow as well as demonstrate a way that Village residents can help their
community, family and friends.