116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Linn County residents will plant thousands more trees this season to help replenish the canopy lost in the 2020 derecho’s ferocious winds.
Two area nonprofits, Monarch Research Project and Trees Forever, will continue their work to restore the trees downed in the unprecedented storm, helping residents replant through tree distribution events.
Monarch Research Project will distribute 14,535 Iowa-native trees to 3,318 people once the trees arrive in Linn County in the next two weeks. These trees will be planted over the next three to five weeks, according to a news release.
Since the organization’s Planting Forward program started in 2020, the initiative will have facilitated the distribution and planting of over 40,000 native trees, including those planted this spring. Planting Forward aims to distribute an additional 100,000 trees to be planted over the next five years.
Monarch Research Project partners with schools, hospitals, neighborhood associations, historical sites and local governments to distribute trees to employees to be replanted on private property.
“By working directly with organizations and their employees, we create an enthusiastic army of volunteers who have opted to engage in this communitywide initiative,” Monarch Research founder Clark McLeod said in a statement.
Monarch Research Project this past winter launched Planting Forward for Woodlands, a new effort for large landowners to buy 25 to 150 trees. Nearly 4,500 trees were ordered in January, and the landowners will receive the trees on or before Thursday.
Area school employees will plant nearly 5,000 trees, according to Monarch Research. Other local organizations, including Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health, have ordered 5,000 trees. Monarch Research Project is distributing two-thirds of the trees at no charge with the support of private donations, while large landowners and private employers are buying the remaining trees.
To help replant with native species, Monarch Research Project established a relationship with a regional native tree nursery, Forrest Keeling Nursery, to fulfill thousands of individual orders.
Planting Forward fall 2022 order information will be shared later this spring.
Marion-based nonprofit Trees Forever will host a tree adoption with just under 1,000 trees for Cedar Rapids residents this spring, according to John Bright, the organization’s marketing and communications manager.
Cedar Rapids residents will be able to reserve either one or two trees ahead of time at TreesForever.org/Adopt starting April 18. Trees Forever will host a pickup event at the Veterans Memorial Stadium parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon May 1 for those who reserved trees.
This is part of the $37 million ReLeaf Cedar Rapids plan, a public-private partnership between the city of Cedar Rapids and Trees Forever that was adopted by the Cedar Rapids City Council in February, to promote equity and resiliency and strengthen social bonds through reforestation. Bright said this is specifically part of the Trees Forever private tree plan to help residents replant private properties such as their yards.
There will be two sizes of trees, Bright said, but both should be “landscape sized,” larger 5-foot to 7-foot trees. The smaller trees have a $15 adoption fee, and the larger ones have a $25 fee. There will be 16 species to choose from — all of which are native trees on the ReLeaf plan’s preferred species list.
Comments: (319) 398-8494; email@example.com