Registration is now open for America’s largest fundraiser for tree research, the 2010 STIHL Tour des Trees to benefit the Tree Research and Education Endowment (TREE) Fund.
The weeklong cycling event launches from Chicago’s magnificent Millennium Park on July 18, 2010 and travels westward to the Mississippi River and Iowa before looping back to the world famous Morton Arboretum in Chicago’s western suburbs on July 24.
Cyclists interested in riding in the STIHL Tour des Trees can register online at www.stihltourdestrees.org. Riders can sign up for the full seven-day tour or any portion thereof. The registration fee is $100 until June 1 and $125 from June 2 until registration closes July 5.
To participate in the weeklong Tour, riders must raise a minimum of $3,500, which will be applied toward scientific research grants and educational scholarships administered by the TREE Fund. Full- and partial-tour registrants receive all lodging, meals, snacks, beverages and mechanical support for the duration of the tour, along with an official Stihl Tour des Trees cycling jersey, wind jacket and t-shirt.
New for 2010 is a one-day ”Ride for Research” on Saturday, July 24, featuring two of Chicagoland's most scenic and noteworthy research facilities, Fermilab and the Morton Arboretum. Local riders are invited to join the Stihl Tour des Trees for the day to help raise awareness of the need for tree research and professional tree care. The $75 registration fee for the “Ride for Research” covers lunch, a t-shirt, entrance to the Morton Arboretum and a donation to the TREE Fund.
Last year’s Stihl Tour des Trees, which kicked off in New York City, raised nearly $500,000 dollars to benefit the TREE Fund, and 100 percent of the costs of the event were supported by its sponsors. In addition to their financial support, 2009 tour sponsors Stihl, Asplundh Tree Expert Co., The Davey Tree Expert Co. and Bartlett Tree Experts went on to partner with New York City's MillionTreesNYC Training Program.
Managed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and New York Restoration Project, the program provides paid, on-the-job forestry, ecological restoration and horticulture training and career guidance to unemployed young adults in New York.
Since its inception in 1992, the Tour des Trees has generated more than $4.4 million and has funded a variety of research projects, including new disease control methods, new technology to increase post-planting survival in urban trees, and improved safety methods for arborists and other tree care professionals.
Sponsors of the 2010 Stihl Tour des Trees include Stihl, Wright Tree Service, ITC Holdings, APS and Utility Lines Construction.