The mission of the Children and Elders Forest organization is to plant indigenous trees in groves, to deepen bonds among the generations, and to improve the quality of life in our communities. Since 2005, Children and Elders Forest has established nine groves. Two of the groves, Turtle Grove and Eagle Grove, are in Maxwell Park at Parkside Road and Gregory Street.
The goal of Children and Elders Forest is to create as many groves as possible by having multi-generational teams sponsor trees. Each tree sponsoring team would need to consist of at least one child and one elder. However, there is no limit to how many people are on a team, made up from a group of families, friends, or organizations. Many people also sponsor trees in memory of a loved one.
The variety of tree species available for the Maxwell Park tree groves are listed on the Tree Sponsorship Form at a cost of $175 each. Trees are typically planted in the spring and fall by the Town of Normal Park Maintenance staff. After sponsoring a tree, the team is invited to a ceremony to celebrate the planting of their selected tree. At the ceremony, the Children and Elders Forest organization will place a tree tag containing every team member's name and the tree species around one of the tree's lower branches.