This year marks the 6th year of RUMC’s annual 1,000 Tree Planting Project.  The project, an all-volunteer effort to plant 1,000 trees on one day every November in Riverside, was begun in 2007 by church member and Riverside resident Tom Sisulak.  All church members and interested friends and community members are invited to join this very rewarding project which will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2012.

The morning begins at 10:00 a.m. in the church Fellowship Hall with a special teaching seminar. Several guest speakers along with some Native American friends and Mike Collins, the Riverside Forester, are typically involved.

The presenters give participants a better understanding of our responsibility to take care of the plant and animal life on our Mother Earth. They also instruct us as to how to plant the tree seeds, how to use the tree planting tools that are provided, and how to select a spot to plant the tree seeds that will produce beautiful hardwood trees for the next 300 years.

November is Native American Heritage Month. We are grateful to have members of Midwest Soaring to work alongside us as we care for our environment and learn from them in this project.

Following the planting, we return to the church where volunteer cooks have hot chili, hot chocolate, tea and coffee in the dining room for all those who participated in the planting project. Participants are reminded to wear warm clothes, boots, hat, and gloves in case of cold weather.

Those who would prefer not to go outside to plant tree seeds are invited to help in the kitchen to prepare the food and drinks for the returning volunteer tree planters. Cooks prepare their favorite hot chili recipe at home and bring it to church on Saturday morning either to be served separately or combined in one large chili pot, at the discretion of those who are cooking. We have typically had between 20 and 40 volunteer tree planters who eat up several gallons of chili and hot drinks.

All the volunteer tree planters receive a “1000 Tree Planting Project” Certificate to commemorate the event and celebrate their efforts.

Illinois Farm Bureau “Partners”  Magazine in their Fall 2012 issue ran a feature on the event.   To read the article on line, go to, click on Library under the search bar and then click on Fall 2012 Issue.

For another article describing the 2008 planting project, click here. For a video reporting on the inaugural event, click planting_climate_change.htm.