ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Stateline youth gathered at Rock Valley College on Sunday to improve the future of the environment.

Winnebago County’s 4-H and the U of I extension gathered to plant a group of 25 oak trees for “Earth Month” this April. It is part of a nationwide initiative to replace millions of trees that Illinois lost to development practices.

Organizers said that this will improve global health at a local level.

“Rock Valley lost a significant amount of trees back in 2020 when they had an EF-1 come through, so we’re helping,” said Becky Gocken, 4-H youth development program coordinator at the U of I extension. “Plus, it’s in a public area where our families can come back and enjoy the trees, and say, ‘hey, I was a part of that.'”

It is especially important that young people take part so they can understand that this work betters the environment, according to Gocken.