FLOSSMOOR — The Chicago Region Trees Initiative, based at Morton Arboretum, coordinated an event, ‘Plant the Gem,’ to help plant hundreds of trees across Flossmoor.

There were around 250 people in Flossmoor planting about 300 trees for the event.

Trinity Pierce from the Chicago Region Trees Initiative said more trees are dying from a variety of diseases so more, diverse, trees need to be planted to make up for the loss.

“It’s not about us, where we often live in a more built environment, we still have vital green spaces and we need to care for these spaces and trees are a key component of that,” Pierce said.

They lined the route of the half-marathon that takes place in the area — similarly named, ‘The Hidden Gem Half-Marathon — with native species, highlighting the importance of conservation and turning younger generations into tree champions.

“Because trees produce air and help our environment and with all the pollution and global warming going on we need as much of that as we can get,” 10-year-old Charles Zurek said.

Christina Lutz, Flossmoor resident, brought her kids out to learn and appreciate a generational impact.

“We thought it would be nice to see trees grow as the kids grow and each year, we’re going to take pictures of them,” Lutz said.

For generations like Charles’ to appreciate the co-existence of humans and nature and inspiration rooted in community and care for the future.

‘I think some kids will get inspired — maybe even some grownups. Who knows?  Anybody could be inspired by this,” Charles said.