The program, Branching Out, is giving grants to 23 tree-planting projects in Iowa this fall. In total, we gave $105,585 to communities to add trees in city parks, campgrounds, playgrounds, along nature trails and at schools.
Trees are a natural source of energy efficiency. They block the sun and provide shade on hot days, and offer a windbreak on cold days.
“Iowans have made a big impact in adding trees to the state, and we’re seeing the big benefits of that work,” said Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “Since we started Branching Out in 1989, the trees volunteers planted have captured more than 115 million pounds of carbon, and saved more than 15 million kilowatt-hours of energy.”
Trees provide many benefits that increase as they grow. To help trees last a long time, it is important to plant and care for trees properly. With the threat of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Japanese beetles, Gypsy moth, Bur Oak Blight and others, the need for a diverse population of trees is important across Iowa. This year, Branching Out is funding planting projects that include an increased variety of trees to communities.
“We have been working with communities to diversify the species of trees they plant and recent applications to the Branching Out program demonstrate the communities’ commitment to this effort,” said Meredith Borchardt, Trees Forever program manager. “A diverse urban forest is the best way to ensure resiliency when faced with threats such as the Emerald Ash Borer, or whatever the next major disease or pest threat might be.”
We fund Branching Out and Trees Forever and local community leaders create each tree-planting project. The program supports energy efficiency with strategic tree planting projects and designs. It also improves the quality of life, increases environmental awareness and encourages volunteer involvement.
For more information, contact Trees Forever at 1-800-369-1269 or visit alliantenergy.com/branchingout or treesforever.org.