Orange gnome army swarms Wicker Park and Bucktown, celebrating Arbor Day


Gnome Captain gives his army final words of encouragement on the flat bed of a pickup truck before they swarmed through the district


A tree tag and a gnome are by this tree

In honor of Arbor Day, an army of 84 orange gnomes were transported through out the Wicker Park and Bucktown commercial streets by WPB SSA #33 transporters early Friday morning. 

Sometimes near a tree tag, sometimes not, these mischievous little dudes are to encourage everyone to be aware of and have respect for the urban forest. 

There are a total of 500 tree tags with five different Arbor Day Tree Facts from which to learn about your environment. On 8" by 10" pieces of paper tied to trees along SSA's streets and in Wicker Park. 

Working with Bartlett Tree Experts starting in 2011, SSA #33 began doing a tree inventory throughout the district.  Hen they created a management plan for caring for them. A scientific experiment was conducted as well to improve the urban forest. 

The results of their work was a list of over 1,700 trees in the SSA,, which are valued at $3,024,000 and provide environmental services worth $120,000 per year by:


Radiance Fine Jewelry owner and SSA Commissioner, Rebecca Dohe hugs a gnome

  • reducing storm water runoff (Our community’s trees intercept more than 1.1 million gallons of rainfall a year!)
  • providing summer cooling
  • helping to conserve energy
  • improving air quality
  • reducing carbon dioxide
  • providing an economic boost (Research shows that shoppers will travel farther to visit and linger in a business district with high-quality trees, spending 9-12% more in these areas.)
Like the gnomes, people are encouraged to appreciate and care about what happens to our urban forests. 
NOTE: Everyone is encouraged to hug a gnome! Send us your photos and we'll post them...add a story too!


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