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Homefield Energy donates trees to Peoria Civic Center

23 trees of differing varieties planted around the historic venue.
23 trees were donated by Homefield Energy to the Peoria Civic Center.
23 trees were donated by Homefield Energy to the Peoria Civic Center.(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 3:13 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25 News) - Homefield Energy not only powers the Peoria Civic Center but they are beautifying the historic venue as well. Tuesday they announced at a small press conference the donation of 23 trees to the Civic Center. Homefield Energy partnered with the Morton Arboretum to make this happen.

Homefield Energy and its parent company Vistra, have a history of donating trees. Since 2002 they have donated over 300,000 trees through Vistra Trees for Growth.

“Homefield Energy believes in giving back to the community. It’s so important for us to give trees back to or to give back to the community, especially trees. We believe in helping with sustainability efforts.” Said Kimberly Hilley, Manager of Community Affairs with Homefield Energy.

The trees are another addition to the continued beautification efforts Downtown Peoria is undertaking and they will certainly look beautiful once fully grown. Challenges over the past several years with the Emerald Ash Borer beetle make this donation to the Peoria Civic Center particularly important. Eight different species of trees will be planted to draw attention to the need for species diversity, making the Peoria tree canopy less susceptible to future catastrophic loss.

The replanting of trees is a very important sustainability action that many companies are either doing now or contributing financially too. Trees help the environment and do very important work for the local ecosystem.

“So they’re helping to clean the air they’re helping reduce the amount of stormwater that’s falling so for instance when we have these extreme storm events they will help slow the flow and allow the water time to get into the soil rather than all running off.” Said Lydia Scott, Director of the Chicago Trees Initiative, Morton Arboretum.

For cities, the stormwater point is very important as climate change continues to get worse, heavy rain events are expected to get worse and more frequent.

Trees also help with temperature in cities. The urban heat island effect is a term in meteorology that refers to the natural warming in an urban area. Large cities can often be 10 degrees warmer due to this. Trees will help mitigate that effect somewhat by providing shade, especially the large oak tree that was planted.

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