Get outside and plant a tree

By Taylor on October 31, 2013 in Blog


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation's volunteer crew could use your hands!

Join the INHF staff and Wells Fargo volunteers for some fresh air at an INHF land restoration project along the Raccoon River near West Des Moines. This fun fall tree planting event will take place on Friday, November 8.

“This event is a great way to get introduced to INHF's volunteer program and improve the land at the same time,” says Mary Runkel, volunteer coordinator at INHF.

Volunteers will plant trees, put down mulch and do other related tasks. The day isn't all about “doing,” however; it's also about discovery. Volunteers will learn more about conservation opportunities, including how the river is important for drinking water, the value of greenways, tree identification and information on local species, including the endangered Indiana Bat that was found near the site.

This event is the first restoration project on the Raccoon River Bluff project, which was recently jump started with a 400-acre conservation easement signed by Raccoon River Land Company and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. The organizations' partnership is the first step in the Raccoon River Bluff project, which is expected to protect 800 acres of floodplain, oak-hickory woodland and endangered species habitat when completed. Over 14 years ago, INHF identified the Raccoon River Bluff as a crucial area in the metro to protect and restore for the improvement of water quality and forest and wetland wildlife habitat and to provide important green space in an area of future development.

Because the Raccoon River is the primary drinking water source for the largest metropolitan region in Iowa, its protection is critical. Des Moines has the largest known nitrate removal plant in the country because of the excessive nitrogen in the drinking water due to intensive land use in the watershed. By helping to start restoration of the Raccoon River Bluff, volunteers at this event will also be lending a hand to protect Des Moines drinking water!

INHF will offer light refreshments at 12:30 p.m., with the orientation beginning at 1:00 p.m. All tools will be provided, but we encourage volunteers to bring gloves and a water bottle and to wear outdoor-appropriate clothing and sturdy, close-toed footwear.

Registration is preferred, and directions to the tree planting site will be provided after registration. For more information about the day's event and how to register, visit