Posts tagged Restore

Backyard Abundance tour Saturday

Toni and Jake DeRyke home (photo, Backyard Abundance)

Toni and Jake DeRyke home (photo, Backyard Abundance)

Information on the following Backyard Abundance event came from Fred Meyer: 

Decades of steady care by Toni and Jake DeRyke, 2101 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City, have led to a peaceful and orderly yard filled with beautiful flowers, tranquil shade gardens and an abundance of food. The yard will be open to view from 3-5 p.m. Saturday (June 27, 2009.)

 The DeRykes strive to keep their environmental impact low while also saving money:

  • Growing their own food eliminates the carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted to transport food to their home.
  • Rain barrels capture free rainwater for their garden, reducing the need for energy-intensive purified tap water.
  • Steady supplies of low-cost reclaimed building materials are frequently acquired from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
  • Trees shade their home, reducing energy bills and providing bird habitat.

 Toni and Jake reflect our growing efforts to think globally and act locally; and it does not get more local than your own backyard.

 Parking for their event is available on 3rd Avenue, on the west side of their home.

 For more information, see: http://www.backyardabundance.org/events.aspx

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Using (free!) compost to restore flooded yards

 

Screening equipment and compost piles at the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency's site in southwest Cedar Rapids (Cindy Hadish photo)

Screening equipment and compost piles at the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency's site in southwest Cedar Rapids (Cindy Hadish photo)

   Stacie Johnson, compost expert extraordinaire, sent me a note about getting flooded yards back in shape. Stacie, education coordinator for the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, said owners of flood-damaged homes have been calling the agency about using compost as fill as they begin work on their yards this spring.  Last June’s floods wiped out the vegetation of thousands of homes in Eastern Iowa, especially in the Cedar Rapids area. One caller wanted to put compost 4 inches deep on her lawn, but Stacie advises against using compost as fill or topsoil. The grass might sprout, but would have long-term problems growing. Also, it would make a very soft spot in the yard, as compost is mostly organic matter with little mineral content. 

      The Agency is giving away free compost for Linn County residents and Stacie wants it to be used so it’s most beneficial to these homeowners.

Here is what she says:

    Compost is a good source of soil organic matter and shouldn’t be used as you would topsoil.  The three compost applications recommended by the Solid Waste Agency are mulching, amending and top-dressing.

Mulching: add one inch of compost as a mulch layer, no need to work in and can be topped off with wood mulch for a formal landscape.

 Amending: (most likely the best approach for flood homes)  work one to two inches into the top six inches of existing soil.

 Top Dressing – spread 1/4 to ½-inch layer of compost over existing lawn; best to aerate before top dressing and reseed after.

A rule of thumb for how much compost is needed to complete a project:  square footage x depth x .0031 = cubic yards needed for your soil amendment project.

The agency’s Web site: www.solidwasteagency.org has more information on hours and where you can pick up the compost. The compost is made from the leaves and other natural materials collected in Yardys. It is aged in piles and unwanted materials are removed with a heavy-duty screening machine. The result is rich, dark compost that is great for the soil.

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Disaster recovery and digging trees

   Marion-based Trees Forever is accepting applications for two programs: “Recover, Replant & Restore,” which funds planting projects for flooded neighborhoods or other disaster-affected areas, and, in partnership with Alliant Energy, “We Dig Your District,” a tree-planting program.  

 

   Here are details on both programs:

 

   Trees Forever is accepting applications for disaster recovery assistance and funding through its Recover, Replant & Restore Program.  The goals of the program are to help neighborhoods and communities plan, implement and fund planting projects that will rebuild hope and community spirit in some of the most devastated areas of Iowa.

 

   Iowa communities that were directly impacted by the storms or floods of 2008 are eligible to apply.  Examples of projects that will be considered include neighborhood tree plantings, park or trail recovery or planting projects, waterway recovery or plantings, school ground plantings, downtown business district landscaping, assessing and caring for storm-damaged trees, etc.

 

   Through the Recover, Replant & Restore program, Trees Forever staff will provide assistance with damage assessment, project planning, plant material selection, planting design, volunteer organizing, and tree care or cleanup projects.  In addition, cash grants of up to $2,000 are available to help purchase trees and other plant materials.

 

   “We recognize that many communities affected by last year’s disasters are still in the basic recovery process,” notes Karen Brook, Trees Forever program manager.  “Our goal right now is to provide whatever assistance we can to communities and neighborhoods… to give them some hope for a brighter, greener future.”

 

   Applications for the first round of assistance from the Recover, Replant & Restore program must be submitted by February 27, 2009.  To apply, interested communities or groups should contact Karen Brook at 800-369-1269 ext. 14 or e-mail kbrook@treesforever.org.  A Trees Forever field coordinator will be assigned to assist each applicant with completing a simple nomination form.  Communities or projects accepted for the program will be announced in early March, 2009.

 

    Trees Forever established the Campaign to Recover, Replant & Restore to raise money to assist communities that were affected by the natural disasters of 2008.  Thanks to a major gift from Van Meter Industrial and others donations from across the state, Trees Forever is now able to start assisting these communities.  Anyone interested in more information about the campaign, or wishing to donate to this fund, can contact Mark Signs at 800-369-1269, extension #20, or log on to www.TreesForever.org

 

 

 

   We Dig Your District

 

   Would you like to see more trees planted in your favorite neighborhood park? Do you know of a school playground, nursing home, non-profit, public library, sports complex, cemetery, or trail that could benefit from a few well-placed trees? If so, let your ideas be known.  Site nominations for the We Dig Your District program in Cedar Rapids are due February 25, 2009.

 

Alliant Energy and Trees Forever are once again offering We Dig Your District, a partnership program to plant trees in each of the five Cedar Rapids City Council Districts to demonstrate how trees improve energy efficiency and contribute to a healthier and more beautiful community. And, we need your help!

 Get into the energy efficiency groove and submit suggestions for the 2009 We Dig Your District tree-planting locations.

 To submit a suggestion, tell us the following in 300 words or less.

1. Your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address (optional)

2. The community location where you would like to see trees planted (The location must be within Alliant Energy’s electric service territory in Cedar Rapids.)

3. Why your location should be selected; what makes it special and how trees would make a difference at this site.  Suggestion(s) must be submitted by February 25, 2009 to receive consideration. Submissions can be made online at www.alliantenergy.com/wedigyourdistrict  or via mail to Alliant Energy, Community Relations, Attn: We Dig Your District, 200 First Street SE, PO Box 351, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-0351.

 

 

 

Suggestions will be reviewed based on their potential to improve energy efficiency, enhance the environment and meet a community need. The review committee will include representatives from Alliant Energy and Trees Forever, with input from local city council members.

 

Selections will include one site within each of the five Cedar Rapids City Council Districts. Planting sites will be announced in March 2009. The 2008 We Dig Your District planting sites included Arthur Elementary School, Cleveland Elementary School, Regis Middle School, Redmond Park and Wilderness Estates Park. Planting at Ushers Ferry was postponed due to the summer flooding.

 

For more information, contact Karen Brook, Trees Forever field coordinator at 373-0650 ext. 14 or email kbrook@treesforever.org

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