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Project Name: Tree Champion Spring Tree Planting 2012

Location: Des Moines, IA

Number of Trees: 40

Over the last several years, many cities across the country have pledged to plant more trees, having recognized the enormous benefits trees provide in reducing air pollution, controlling and cleaning water, saving energy costs and improving the overall health of city residents. While planting trees is a good first step, in order for the trees to provide the greatest benefit, they must be cared for and maintained far into the future. With this goal in mind, Des Moines, Iowa, has ambitious plans to increase their urban tree canopy by using trained, involved residents to help ensure their long-term success.

Launching in 2012, the Des Moines TreeKeepers program is designed to train community volunteers through a combination of classroom and hands-on studies covering tree identification and physiology, proper planting and maintenance, the benefits of trees and more. By training residents to plant and care for the trees, the city is creating a community of forest stewards that will help protect the city’s urban canopy for years to come.

With four million urban trees being lost annually throughout the United States each year, cities must maintain and build their canopy. This is why American Forests is collaborating with Des Moines TreeKeepers in 2012. Working with the Des Moines program, more than 40 trees will be planted in the city of Des Moines, and a similar number of new tree champions will be trained to plant and care for them. These new trees will help replace those lost in recent years due to development and disease.


This project was supported by our corporate partner, the Alcoa Foundation.

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