Imagine Grinnell celebrates 1000+ Trees Grinnell kick off with planting event

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Imagine Grinnell kicked off the 1000+ Trees Grinnell initiative with a public planting event on October 24th at Ahrens Park. As part of its mission to turn imagination into action to create a more vibrant, sustainable, and healthy Grinnell, Imagine Grinnell is leading the effort for the replacement of community trees lost to the derecho and emerald ash borer. 

The kick off event at Ahrens Park began with Imagine Grinnell Board President Tim Ellsworth welcoming the group and introducing the 1000+ Trees initiative. Special thanks were given to Julie Gosselink, President, CEO and chair of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation for hosting our first official tree planting and Mayor Agnew for the city’s partnership with this project. Mayor Agnew welcomed the community members before the planting began. 

Remarks were made by Imagine Grinnell president Tim Ellsworth and Mayor Dan Agnew, followed by the planting of a tree. A Bald Cypress was planted near the basketball courts but close to the sidewalk and Penrose Street. Following the planting at Ahrens Park, trees were also planted by volunteers at Grinnell-Newburg High School and Marvin Gardens. At Marvin Gardens, volunteers and committee members placed a Blackhaw Vibernum near the back of the property. At GHS Julia and Marion Chamberland led a group of 15-20 High School students in the planting of the Iowa state tree, a Bur Oak, and then conducted a mulching workshop to teach students how to care for trees moving forward. Davis Elementary School hosted a planting on Friday, October 23rd with 4th grade students also added a Bur Oak to the property. Students helped lower the tree in the ground and took turns adding dirt, mulching and watering. 

If individuals are interested in replacing trees lost on their property or have already replaced a tree on their property, the committee asks them to take a short survey: https://forms.gle/GBz9hbZPQhH7oVzM6. The committee plans to order trees in early January for a spring planting both on city property and private property.

The 1000+ Trees steering committee continues to raise funds from individuals, businesses and philanthropies to help organize a plan to systematically replant and support new trees well as educate the public on tree care and maintenance to ensure that the trees are healthy and live for many decades. If you would like to donate to the initiative please go to the Imagine Grinnell website, www.imaginegrinnell.org/donate/ and designate 1000+ Trees in the memo. Follow, Imagine Grinnell’s facebook page and website for information on opportunities to volunteer. 1000+ Trees plans to coordinate with the City of Grinnell, Grinnell College, and other interested parties in the process of re-treeing Grinnell.

As a reminder, there is currently a moratorium on all tree plantings within the publicly owned rights-of-ways through December 31, 2020. This moratorium will allow city staff to complete an inventory of trees on public properties. Private property owners may plant trees on their property, so long as they are not in the right of way. State law requires that residents contact Iowa One Call (800) 292-8989 or visit iowaonecall.com before digging. If residents have questions or concerns, they are encouraged to contact the Grinnell Building and Planning Department at 641-236-2600.

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