Arbor Day – celebrated this year on Friday, April 25 – seems to have taken a back seat to Earth Day in recent years, but at Trees Forever, every day is Arbor Day, and Earth Day, combined.
In fact, the Marion-based nonprofit is marking the milestone of its 25th anniversary this year, and has openings in one of its signature classes, along with upcoming events to mark Arbor Day and the end of Earth Week.
“We started Trees Forever because there was a need to plant more trees, restore forests and be a voice for natural areas,” said Shannon Ramsay, Founding President and CEO. From its beginnings in 1989, they’ve done just that: Trees Forever has partnered with communities to plant more than 3 million trees and shrubs throughout Iowa and Illinois.
Taking care of existing trees is another challenge that Trees Forever is meeting through several programs, including its acclaimed TreeKeepers workshops. More than 70 people in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area have been trained in the program since Trees Forever TreeKeepers began in 2012.
The program is designed for people who want to become more knowledgeable about urban tree planting and care, and who wish to become a stronger voice for trees in their communities. Participants take part in hands-on and classroom presentations led by experienced Trees Forever staff members and other invited tree experts.
A class just finished in Cedar Rapids and a new session in Iowa City will be held on May 3 and 17. Classes are 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Iowa Oakdale Campus Bio-Ventures Building, 2500 Crosspark Road. A small fee covers classroom materials, t-shirt and food. To register, see: www.treesforever.org/TreeKeepers_IC
To watch TreeKeepers, Trees Forever staff and other volunteers in action, check out some of these upcoming events:
On April 25, starting at noon at Marion City Hall, Trees Forever and elected Marion officials will have an Arbor Day tree planting of a diverse mix of shade trees to provide cool parking spots in the future for visitors to City Hall and the historic uptown district.
Also on Arbor Day, at 1 p.m. April 25 at 10th Street and 10th Avenue SW, Trees Forever’s Cedar Rapids TreeKeepers, the city of Cedar Rapids and Taylor Elementary students will plant trees in the park, continuing Trees Forever’s strong education efforts.
At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26, Trees Forever will host a Tree Walk and Planting Demonstration as part of Eco-Fest, centered around the New Bohemia neighborhood in Cedar Rapids, starting at the NewBo City Market, with the planting at Masaryk Park.
For more information visit www.treesforever.org or call 800-369-1269.