BY PCC STAFF
CEDAR RAPIDS – Projects in Keokuk and Burlington have been tapped to receive funds through Alliant Energy’s Branching Out program with trees for projects in each city.
Burlington will receive $4,457 to plant trees along selected streets throughout the city, while Keokuk is slated to receive $2,240 for trees as part of a Keokuk High School service learning project in Rand Park.
For nearly 30 years, Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility and Trees Forever have partnered through Branching Out to help Iowa communities plant a diverse mix of trees. These efforts have allowed trees to live longer and provide decades of energy savings to those communities.
Thanks to the latest round of Branching Out grants, 35 communities will complete 38 tree-planting projects this spring. More than $150,400 in grant money was awarded. Additional projects will be funded after another round of grant applicants submit fall proposals, which are due June 1.
Branching Out is an energy efficiency program that brings together community volunteers, Trees Forever and Alliant Energy. Community leaders create specific tree-planting projects, and Alliant Energy provides funding for the trees. Experts from Trees Forever assist in the correct placement, planting and care of the trees for energy efficiency and aesthetic appeal.
Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility says, “When you plant a tree, you’re creating a legacy. Fifteen years from now you can come back and see what you’ve done and it is impressive. These trees provide a benefit to the community in terms of energy efficiency and carbon reduction for years to come and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
“Our efforts help trees live longer!” said Meredith Borchardt, Trees Forever program manager. “Branching Out helps community volunteers select the best species for each location. Then we assist each community in developing a care and maintenance plan to help ensure these trees will live for decades. That’s important because the energy savings continue to grow as the trees get older and older.”