Planting a tree, making a difference

By Taylor on November 21, 2013 in Blog

DSC_0481Under a sunny, fall sky, 80 volunteers and staff from Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation participated in an inspiring afternoon of conservation.

Volunteers tackled their assigned tasks with enthusiasm during INHF's biggest volunteer event of the year, a tree planting event on Nov. 8, 2013. In about 3 hours, participants planted and mulched over 900 trees and added tree guards to 200 of the saplings.

“I am happy about the results, enthusiasm and knowledge base of the volunteers,” said Mary Runkel, INHF volunteer coordinator.


Shane Zimmerman presents check to INHF President Joe McGovern.

The afternoon started with a presentation of $100,000 in grant funding by Wells Fargo Area Business Banking Manager Shane Zimmerman to Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Volunteers at the event were community members and 65 Wells Fargo staffers who chose to take time away from the office to participate in conservation of the Des Moines area. The group planted bur oak, swamp white oak, sycamore, shagbark hickory and black walnut trees on a plot of private property in Dallas County.

“It was one of the most enjoyable volunteer events I have participated in!” one volunteer said.

This tree planting project is the first volunteer event of the Raccoon River Bluff project. The project will create a large conservation area in West Des Moines along 3.5 miles of the Raccoon River near Booneville that will eventually connect into the heart of Des Moines. Raccoon River Land Company recently signed a permanent conservation easement totaling approximately 400 acres for the Raccoon River Bluff project, and the Wells Fargo grant funding administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will help with the creation of the conservation area. A portion of that funding was used to host this first tree planting event.

You can see the progress the volunteers and staff made below!


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