Posts tagged tree planting

Trees Forever grant to go toward flood recovery landscaping

This just in from Trees Forever in Marion:

     Trees Forever today announced that it received a $10,000 grant from the Alliance for Community Trees (ACT) and The Home Depot Foundation. This challenge grant is part of the National NeighborWoods Program, made possible through generous support of The Home Depot Foundation. NeighborWoods is a nationwide initiative that engages the public in meaningful hands-on action to produce tangible improvements to community health through tree planting and stewardship. Trees Forever is one of just eleven organizations nationwide who received a NeighborWoods award in support of partnerships between urban forestry non-profits and affordable housing providers.

  Trees Forever is a regional nonprofit that plants trees and cares for the environment by empowering people, building community and promoting stewardship. Disastrous flooding in Iowa in 2008 irrepara-bly damaged 944 homes in Cedar Rapids, 75% of which were low-income housing. The city needs at least 420 new owner-occupied homes, half of which must be affordable housing. Trees Forever is partnering with Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity to help address this need and ensure green, sustain-able redevelopment in Iowa by planting approximately 40 trees at 20 new Habitat homes in the College Park Estates and Wilderness Estates neighborhoods of Cedar Rapids. 

Trees Forever will also plant another 50 trees at 20-25 Habitat sites in Des Moines, in partnership with the Greater Des Moines chapter of Habitat for Humanity. These projects will revitalize devas-tated Iowa neighborhoods and benefit low-income homeowners by increasing their property values, improving air quality, reducing storm water runoff and producing energy-conserving shade. Volunteers and future Habitat homeowners will receive training on proper tree planting and maintenance to ensure survivability of the trees and maximize their long-term benefits for Iowa communities.

“The NeighborWoods grant allows Trees Forever to help Habitat for Humanity leverage their landscaping budgets on dozens of new flood-recovery homes,” commented Karen Brook, Trees Forever Program Manager.  “And the new homeowners will benefit from the energy savings, aesthetics and improved home value that the trees provide over time,” Brook added.

For more information on the Trees Forever NeighborWoods project, please contact Karen Brook at (319) 373-0650 ext.20.  For more information on Trees Forever and its many programs, log onto <> .

About Trees Forever

Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization based in Marion, IA committed to planting trees, encouraging community involvement and stewardship, and caring for the environment. Programs focus on improving air and water quality, increasing wildlife habitat, providing substantial energy savings and beautifying our landscape. For more information visit <>  or call 800-369-1269.

About Alliance for Community Trees

Alliance for Community Trees (ACT) is dedicated to improving the health and livability of cities by planting and caring for trees. With 160 grassroots affiliates in 40 states and Canada, ACT engages volunteers to take action to improve the environment where 80% of people live – in urban areas. ACT member organizations have planted and cared for 14.9 million trees in cities with help from 4.3 million volunteers. For more information, visit <>

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NatureMapping and more garlic mustard

    If you like to dig, pull, map or inventory, several workshops and volunteer opportunities are being offered in Johnson and Linn counties in the coming weeks. A great chance to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

    The first is a NatureMapping program, from ISU extension. The others that follow come from Marion-based Trees Forever. Note that the Great American Cleanup that had been scheduled for last month has been rescheduled for May 18, and while Johnson County’s Garlic Mustard Challenge was posted previously, another chance to help get rid of the invasive plant will take place May 20 in Marion…


    To help the state’s wildlife populations continue to thrive, Iowa State University Wildlife Extension has established the NatureMapping Program. Six workshops are being held throughout Iowa this year.


    The next workshop is June 21 at the Kent Park, 2048 Highway 6 NW, Oxford. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Started in 1999, the NatureMapping Program teaches citizens how to collect information on common wildlife species.


   “There are not enough professionals, time or funding to conduct an inventory of all the nation’s flora and fauna,” says Jim Pease, ISU Extension wildlife specialist and director, Iowa NatureMapping.  “One way to achieve the needed inventory is to involve an interested public in helping us.” Wildlife professionals use the information to establish management plans for the state’s wildlife.


   The program provides hands-on environmental education. “Involving the public in ‘finding the pieces of the puzzle’ is what NatureMapping is all about,” says Jason O’Brien, coordinator, Iowa NatureMapping. “Trained NatureMapping volunteers are a vital link in wildlife management efforts in Iowa. Currently, we are concentrating on amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds of Iowa.” He added that the goal is “to keep common wildlife common.”


   “Citizen involvement to date shows that Iowans are dedicated to protecting and enhancing our state’s wildlife,” O’Brien says. Since its inception, hundreds of people, representing schools, businesses, agencies and other community groups, have been trained. To date, tens of thousands of species reports, representing hundreds of Iowa species, have been entered into the Iowa NatureMapping database.


   “Volunteers can provide much needed data by recording wildlife observations around their home and feeders, when hiking, canoeing or doing other wildlife-related activities. School participation can vary depending on the size and scope of the projects chosen,” Pease adds.  “It can fulfill a valuable service to their community, while engaging students in a related project of data collection and analysis.”


   For registration information, contact O’Brien at (515) 294-6440, or visit the NatureMapping Web site at There is a $30 cost for each workshop, which includes materials and lunch.



   We Dig Your District Tree Planting- Redmond Park, Cedar Rapids

Date and Time: May 7, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm  

Rain Date: May 12, 1:15 pm to 4:15 pm

Location: 3rd Ave. and 16th St. SE, Cedar Rapids

Event Description: Help Trees Forever to set up and clean up the event, assist students and teachers with tree planting and/or serve refreshments. 

RSVP: Sign up with Karen Brook, 319-373-0650 x14 or

Google Map Link:,+cedar+rapids,+ia&sll=42.033293,-91.607223&sspn=0.013579,0.028195&ie=UTF8&z=16


    We Dig Your District Tree Planting- Wilderness Estates Park, Cedar Rapids

Date and Time: May 14, 1:00 pm- 4:00 pm  

Rain Date: May 16, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Location: Moose Drive NW, Cedar Rapids

Event Description: Help Trees Forever to set up and clean up the event, assist with tree planting and/or serve refreshments.

RSVP: Sign up with Karen Brook, 319-373-0650 x14 or

Google Map Link:,+cedar+rapids,+ia&ie=UTF8&ll=41.993691,-91.727772&spn=0.05435,0.112782&z=13&iwloc=A 


    RESCHEDULED Great American Cleanup- Cedar Rapids Metro Area

Date and Time: May 18, 8:00 am to 12:00 pm

Event Description: This event has been rescheduled from April 26. For more information see

Location: Various

RSVP: Contact Stacie Johnson for more information at or 319-377-5290, Ext. 108.


    Invasive Species Removal- Garlic Mustard Pull at Thomas Park, Marion

Date and Time: May 20, 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Rain Date: TBA

Event Description: Remove garlic mustard (an invasive plant) and/or help Trees Forever set up this event and assist United Way Day of Caring volunteers. Volunteers do not have to stay for the whole day.

Location: Thomas Park in Marion (343 Marion Blvd, Marion, IA).

RSVP: Sign up with Karen Brook, 319-373-0650 x14 or

Google Map Link:,+marion,+ia&ie=UTF8&ll=42.033293,-91.607223&spn=0.013579,0.028195&z=15&iwloc=A


    Marion Street Tree Inventory

Training Dates: June 2, 3, & 4- Daytime sessions 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Evening sessions 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. (choose daytime or evening) 

Location: Monday and Wednesday training sessions meet at Trees Forever Office, 770 7th Ave., Marion.  Tuesday sessions meet at the Kirkwood Community College horticulture building.  Inventory locations are throughout Marion.

Program description: Volunteers will be trained in tree identification and inventory methods.  Volunteers who have done an inventory before or have good tree identification skills do not need to attend all sessions. After training, volunteers will select sections of Marion where they will identify, measure and record information about the city’s publicly owned street trees.  Volunteers can work at their own pace in the summer and early fall.  This information will be used by the city to better manage its trees and will be used to calculate the benefits the trees provide to the city. 

RSVP: To sign up or for more information, contact Sunshine McDonald at 319-373-0650 x15 or

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