Shade trees will be planted during a Trees Forever Branching Out program in Marion and the connection between trees and our health will be highlighted during the group's annual symposium. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Shade trees will be planted during a Trees Forever Branching Out program in Marion, while the connection between trees and our health will be highlighted during the group’s annual symposium. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS – Our friends at Trees Forever are busy with planting  projects and much more this fall.

Besides the popular TreeKeepers program, coming up Oct. 12 and Oct. 19 in the Corridor, Trees Forever’s expert staff is working on Branching Out plantings, including one in Marion.

Also, the group’s annual symposium will be held this year at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Cedar Rapids. The theme of the Dec. 4 event, Green & Blue: A Natural Connection, will focus on the influence of trees and natural areas to our health and well-being.

Here is more from Trees Forever on the Marion Branching Out planting event and the upcoming symposium:

A busy stretch of North Tenth Street in Marion will be greener, safer, and more attractive with the addition of new shade trees. Trees Forever, Alliant Energy, the City of Marion, and students from Linn-Mar High School will plant trees along North Tenth Street through the Branching Out program on Friday, October 25 beginning at 1:45 pm. The public is invited to participate in the planting event.

A total of 50 trees will be planted at the site. All 50 of the trees will be large shade trees to provide shade for sidewalk-users, motorists, and to provide shade and wind protection for nearby buildings. The planting will consist of a diverse variety of large shade trees including red and white oaks, hackberry, Kentucky coffee trees, London plane trees, and tulip trees.

Trees help save energy by both keeping communities cooler in the summer through the shading of buildings, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and warmer in the winter by breaking up cold winter winds.

Saving energy is important to everyone and our investment in tree planting and education will help our customers become more aware of the benefits that trees have to offer,” said Tom Aller, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility company. “We are privileged to serve Marion with safe and reliable electric service. We are always seeking ways to partner with the community to help them become more energy efficient.”

Dustin Hinrichs, Program Manager and Field Coordinator for Trees Forever, notes that the Branching Out efforts in Marion will provide a new greenway connecting the established historic center of Marion with a newer part of the City. “Trees play an important role in providing a sense of community to a newly developed neighborhood or street. The presence of mature shade trees signifies that this area is here to stay as part of the City of Marion.”

A brief ceremony will take place at the southwest corner of the intersection of North Tenth Street and Boyson Road at 1:45 pm., followed immediately by a tree- planting demonstration and tree plantings involving Linn-Mar high school students. Volunteers should bring their own shovels to help plant and wear appropriate clothing (sturdy footwear and pants, sun and wind protection).

The Branching Out partnership between Trees Forever and Alliant Energy has resulted in the planting of more than 1.4 million trees and seedlings in Iowa in the past two decades, for energy conservation and community improvement.

For more information about the October 25 event, contact Dustin Hinrichs at 319-440-7529.

Our Woodland Legacy Symposium: Green & Blue: A Natural Connection


Wednesday, Dec 4, 8:00am to 4:00pm


Doubletree Hotel
350 1st Ave NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
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Contact Information

Jo Ann McNiel
319-373-0650 x 118

Register today and join Trees Forever and partners to learn how trees and natural areas are critical to our health and well-being.

We’re delighted to have as keynote speaker, Richard Louv, international bestselling author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle.

Also joining us will be one of the key researchers quoted in Louv’s books, Dr. William Sullivan, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Sustainability and Health Lab at the University of Illinois. With the selection of Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Iowa City as Blue Zones communities, this is the perfect time to explore how our own personal health and well-being as well as the economic vitality of our communities can
benefit from a daily dose of “Vitamin N” – NATURE!

Your registration fee includes not only these dynamic speakers, but a great “Blue Zones” lunch, and a choice of one of five afternoon workshops:

  • Nature and Comprehensive Planning
  • Nature and Faith
  • Nature and Healing
  • Nature and Learning
  • Nature and Cities

We will close with a combined reception, motivational speaker, and networking. Register Now!

Fee: $50 for Trees Forever members; $75 for non-members. A limited number of scholarships ($25) are available to students and to Green Iowa AmeriCorps. CEU’s are available (self-reporting).

For more information about the speakers or Blue Zones, visit these websites:
Richard Louv: or
Dr. Sullivan:
Blue Zones:

Thank you to our major sponsors: The Holloway Family Environmental Trust, the City of Cedar Rapids, and Linn County.

With appreciation to our sponsoring partners: Skogman Realty, Mercy Medical Center, Hall & Hall Engineering, and Shive-Hattery.