Trees Forever

TreeKeeper Phil Schaff practices his pruning during a maintenance day in Marion. (photo/Trees Forever)

“I repeat,” cried the Lorax, “I speak for the trees!”   – The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

A recent initiative by Marion-based Trees Forever will help bring out your inner Lorax.

Heath Hupke, special projects coordinator for Trees Forever, said spots are still open in the group’s TreeKeepers program, which begins this month. The first meeting locations, on March 26 and April 2, will be at Thomas Park in Marion.

Read on for more information about the TreeKeepers program:

The Trees Forever TreeKeepers 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 neighborhoods and communities.

Trees Forever

TreeKeepers Jay Kacena and Shirley Thorton give new life to a tree that has outgrown its wrapping during a TreeKeeper maintenance day in Marion. (photo/Trees Forever)

Participants in TreeKeepers will take part in twelve hours of classroom study led by experienced Trees Forever staff members and other invited tree experts in the state. All training will incorporate opportunities for hands-on experience.

After completion of the TreeKeepers program, participants will be equipped with the knowledge of how to maintain our urban trees and plant trees for future generations. Trained volunteers will be additional “eyes and ears” for trees in their neighborhoods, and can share their knowledge with neighbors and key influencers.

TreeKeepers will:

  •     Actively participate in tree plantings in their neighborhood and the community.
  •     Gain hands-on experience caring for street and park trees.
  •     Protect community trees and be a tree ambassador.

Specifically, TreeKeepers will participate in a series of classroom and hands-on training sessions, learning about:

  •     Tree Identification & Biology
  •     Proper Planting & Maintenance
  •     Benefits of Trees
  •     Urban & Community Tree Issues
  •     Volunteer Recruitment & Engagement

Each class will also have a volunteer service component.  The $30 fee includes registration, dinner, training handbook,  and t-shirt.  Pre-payment is required. Meeting dates are March 26, April 2, April 9, and April 16.

Cedar Rapids TreeKeepers sponsors are Alliant Energy and the Witwer Trust Grant Program – Linn County.