116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A $150,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would help the city of Cedar Rapids replant 1,000 street trees this fall, if awarded.
The City Council this week signed off on an application for tree replanting as part of the ReLeaf plan to replenish the tree canopy lost in the 2020 derecho’s hurricane-force winds.
After an April trip with city staff and Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell to visit Biden administration officials, Iowa’s congressional delegation and others in Washington, D.C., City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said Cedar Rapids was invited to apply for this grant funding.
Meetings were held with a number of officials, including those with the Agriculture Department and Forest Service.
The overall ReLeaf plan calls for the restoration of more than 34,000 street trees that were toppled in the derecho.
According to council documents, in addition to the trees, the funding also would support community outreach to residents in neighborhoods where replanting will take place.
“As part of this outreach, letters will be sent to residents in these neighborhoods explaining the plan to replant trees and to invite them to a neighborhood gathering,” according to the documents. “At this gathering, city staff and others will be available to discuss the many benefits trees provide and what the residents can expect about the planting and care of the trees along their streets.”
The city’s ReLeaf partner, Marion-based nonprofit Trees Forever, also will use this outreach as an opportunity to pilot a program in which they will recruit and train Neighborhood Tree Captains to become local advocates and catalysts for planting trees on private land.
The city already is matching these grant funds with a commitment of $1 million annually toward tree replanting.
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