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The Grinnell Mutual Group Foundation has partnered with local non-profit Imagine Grinnell and the 1000 Trees project to offer a two-year, $20,000 challenge grant to replace trees throughout Grinnell that were lost to the 2020 Derecho. The grant will match dollar-for-dollar donations received from supporters in 2021 and 2022. 

Financial gifts to the 1000 Trees project allow the organization to assist residents in the 50112-zip code area with the purchase and planting of new trees, often at no cost or a significant discount to the property owners.  City leaders estimate that more than 1,400 trees, or 40% of Grinnell’s tree population, have been lost because of the derecho and effects of the emerald ash bore.

“The Grinnell Mutual Group Foundation has a deep understanding of the needs and challenges our community faces,” said Jeff Menary, chair of GMG Foundation, and the president and CEO of Grinnell Mutual. “Supporting this project to replace 1000 or more of the trees lost recently helps restore an important natural resource in Grinnell. This challenge grant encourages local support and offers donors a simple way to actually double their donation amount.” 

Tim Ellsworth, President of Imagine Grinnell, explained, “This challenge grant helps to push forward the 1000 Trees initiative in a way that would otherwise take significant additional time and resources. Our mission at Imagine Grinnell is to create a healthier and more sustainable community and the support from the GMG Foundation is helping us to do just that.” 

Spring tree planting, focused on Grinnell’s third and fourth wards, has netted replacement of nearly 450 trees. Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 replanting plans are now underway. To make a donation to the fund please visit click on donate and select Imagine Grinnell 1000 trees or send a check to Imagine Grinnell with 1000 trees in the memo to P.O. Box 284 Grinnell, IA 50112.

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