116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Marion, in partnership with Monarch Research, announced the Marion Native Tree Right of way Enrichment Pilot for area residents.
This new initiative provides native trees specifically targeting right of way areas. The pilot allows residents and landowners who register online, to receive up to three, 3-gallon trees and protection, including trunk guards — provided by Monarch Research, according to a city news release.
By becoming community “Tree Ambassadors,” residents will be able to plant, protect and care for the trees in the right of way areas near their homes, the release said. They also may reach out to neighbors who may not have the ability to plant and care for trees themselves to provide a helping hand.
The goal of the citywide initiative is to provide another program since the August 2020 derecho to ensure future tree growth and restore the lost canopy, but also establish new growth in areas that were previously treeless.
It is estimated that about 40 percent of Marion’s canopy was lost to the devastating storm.
“We will enhance our right of way tree canopy in Marion in the way we responded to the derecho, through partnerships,” Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly said. “We are grateful to Monarch Research for helping us empower our residents as a planting force, providing a diversity of high-quality native trees. Marion streetscapes will be beautified for generations to follow.”
The pilot will be limited to the first 250 property owners who register between Sept. 10 and Sept. 23. If the pilot is successful, the initiative hopes to expand in next year.
“This pilot empowers residents to help their neighbors, friends, family members and community rebuild and restore what was lost,” said Clark McLeod, founder of Monarch Research. “Not only will it make the community more attractive, but it will restore the ecosystem for future generations.”
Marion’s Urban Forestry Division will provide inspection for species, location and the number of trees to adequately cover the available right of way for each of the 250 properties, in addition to the long-term maintenance of the trees, the release said.
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