1000Trees Grinnell Plans Celebration of 1,000th Tree Planting

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Imagine Grinnell and its 1000 Trees initiative are hosting their fall planting and celebrating the completion of their initiative by planting the 1,000th tree on Saturday, October 14. The 1000th tree will be planted as part of a public event at Merrill Park at 11 AM. The community is invited to attend and celebrate the planting.

As part of the fall planting, 60 trees will be purchased and available for free to those who sign up. Many slots have already been filled by the spring waiting list, but the remaining trees will be available to residents living in the 50112 zip code who have not previously received a free tree from Imagine Grinnell. Varieties available include: White Oak, Chinquapin Oak, Sugar Maple, Hackberry, Tuliptree, American Linden, Canada Red Chokecherry, Crusader Hawthorn, Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry, Wildfire Blackgum, and Eastern Hophornbeam. Trees will be available for delivery on Friday, October 13 and for pick up on Saturday, October 14. If you’re interested in reserving a free tree, please call 641-236-5518, ext.109 or visit the website: https://www.imaginegrinnell.org/programs/#trees

After its inception following the 2020 Derecho, 1000 Trees Grinnell offered its first tree distribution in the Spring of 2021. Since then, twice a year, discounted or free trees have been offered to residents in the 50112 zip code. 64 varieties of trees have been planted throughout the community over the last three years.

It’s estimated that 30% of the canopy of Grinnell was destroyed as a result of the Emerald Ash Borer and the 2020 derecho. One of the initial focuses was in wards 1 and 2 where some of the heaviest tree damage occurred. Trees have been planted in public areas such as Ahrens Park, Davis Elementary, Grinnell Middle School, Bailey Park Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Grinnell High School and Marvin Garden. A number of businesses have participated in 1000 Trees plantings including; Family Medicine, Windsor Manor, German Heating & Cooling, 1st Presbyterian Church, All Pets Veterinary Clinic, Cox-Smith Funeral Home, Carriage House B&B, United Church of Christ, Grinnell Historical Museum and the Uhlenhopp Arboretum.

In addition to offering trees, 1000 Trees Grinnell committee has held a number of programs and workshops focused on the care and maintenance of trees including specific workshops regarding pruning trees and the care of fruit trees. They also established the TreeCorps to help maintain many of the publicly planted trees by watering when drought conditions occur.

The 1000 Trees committee is a volunteer group who have fundraised over $94,000 to help replant trees in the Grinnell community. In addition to sourcing local donations, they were awarded over $23,000 in grant dollars. Without their dedication and commitment, it would have been a much slower process replanting Grinnell’s canopy. Committee members include; Bel Kugel, David Pope, Delphina Baumann, Janet Carl, Jennifer Cogley, Julie Baumann, Kendra Vincent, Liz Queathem, Marion Chamberland, Rachel Bly, Sue Kolbe, and Tim Ellsworth.

The 1000 Trees Grinnell initiative will sunset after the fall planting and celebration. The Imagine Grinnell board is in the process of determining the next steps for the programming and the management of TreeCorps and will release more information when available. Imagine Grinnell encourages Grinnellians to continue to plant trees on their property or in the right of way on their own and recommends consulting the City’s Recommended Tree List (available at www.grinnelliowa.gov) for a list of approved trees.

Imagine Grinnell continues to seek volunteers to join the TreeCorps to assist the planting and longer term maintenance of trees. The TreeCorps will provide training and knowledge needed to fully participate. Those interested in joining the TreeCorps or learning more can visit https://www.imaginegrinnell.org/programs/#treecorps

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About Imagine Grinnell
Imagine Grinnell is a partner program of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation focused on creating healthier people and a healthier environment in the Grinnell community. The mission of Imagine Grinnell is to turn imagination into action to create a more vibrant, sustainable, and healthy Grinnell. For more information about Imagine Grinnell or to get involved, please visit imaginegrinnell.org or call 641-236-5518.