The Ottumwa Courier

August 27, 2013

Branching Out grant recipients announced

Ottumwa Courier

---- — CEDAR RAPIDS – Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility and Trees Forever announced they are awarding $115,050 to 25 Iowa communities and organizations through their Branching Out community tree planting program this fall.

Alliant Energy provides funding for Branching Out, a nationally recognized program. It partners with Trees Forever and local community leaders to develop and implement public tree-planting projects. The program supports energy efficiency with strategic planting locations and designs. It also improves the quality of life, increases environmental awareness and encourages volunteer involvement.

“We hope that by investing in tree planting and education, our customers will learn more about the energy efficiency and sustainability benefits trees offer,” said Tom Aller, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “This is one of the ways we are working with our communities and customers to help create a more sustainable future.

Alliant Energy provides grants of between $1,000 and $10,000 for community-based tree-planting projects in communities it serves. These can be at parks, community gateways, cemeteries, nature trails, libraries, nursing homes, schools and more. Trees Forever administers the Branching Out program and provides technical and planning support.

Since the beginning of the Branching Out program in 1989, communities and organizations have planted more than 1.4 million trees and seedlings in Iowa.

Local groups receiving funding are:

Eldon and the American Gothic House, $4,680; Eldon Riverfront for green space and access to the Des Moines River, $1,800; Fairfield for community orchard adjacent to the Jefferson County Trail System and shade trees at the local schools, along Route 1 and along the trail, $5,655.