April 21, 2022

Imagine Grinnell and its 1000Trees Grinnell project will be holding a free spring tree distribution with assistance from Grinnell Mutual on Saturday, May 14. This distribution is open to all residents in the 50112 zip code.
1000Trees will have the following trees available to residents: Red Oak, Bur Oak, Red Maple, Eastern Redbud, River Birch. Trees will be approximately ¾” in diameter and in small containers. They are not recommended for planting in the right-of-way. 1 ½” diameter trees will include: Patriot Elm, American Gold Ginkgo, American Hornbeam, Redmond Linden, Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry, Norway Spruce and Royal Raindrops Crabapple. All but Norway Spruce are approved for right-of-way planting. To learn more about the tree varieties, visit https://www.imaginegrinnell.org/programs#trees.
Residents interested in receiving a free tree can apply online at the Imagine Grinnell website: www.imaginegrinnell.org/events or they can call Imagine Grinnell at 641-236-5518 ext 109. Delivery is available for in-town residents only. Planting assistance for residents in need is available by request.
1000Trees is also seeking volunteers for distribution and for planting. Volunteers for distribution will be helping load trees into vehicles, sharing information on planting trees, and traffic control. Planting volunteers will work in teams of 3-5 to help dig holes, place trees, fill in with dirt, mulch and water the tree. 1000Trees is also in need of volunteers to help with non-physical activities such as calling homeowners and helping with driving directions. Interested parties should sign up at www.imaginegrinnell.org/events or email info@imaginegrinnell.org or call 641-236-5518, ext. 109.
1000Trees Steering committee member Marion Chamberland plays an integral role in selecting tree varieties for the distribution and says, “Like last year, we are trying to help residents of Grinnell to diversify the urban canopy by offering a wide variety of trees. Most of the trees this spring are native to Iowa, like Bur Oak and American Hornbeam. Favorites like Eastern Redbud and ‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry, with its clusters of fragrant white flowers in the spring and brilliant orange-red fall color, will also be part of the tree line-up.
It’s exciting that we were able to source some of the trees from a new vendor, CC Oaks Tree Farm, which operates out of Fairfield and has sold trees to Grinnell homeowners for the past two years. I’m really looking forward to the distribution and planting of the trees, it’s always a bit like Christmas in May, the trees spread so much joy!”
This tree distribution is available thanks to a matching grant from Grinnell Mutual. Donations are still being accepted. Donate online at imaginegrinnell.org or mail a check to: Imagine Grinnell 1000Trees PO Box 284 Grinnell, IA 50112.
Property owners will be encouraged to plant trees on their property but are able to plant them in the right of way. For trees being planted in the right of way, homeowners need to complete the following steps in preparation for the planting:
● Complete a permit with the city of Grinnell, available online at www.grinnelliowa.gov, under Building & Planning or call (641) 236-2600 for more information. Permits do not need to be completed for trees planted on homeowner’s property in areas not in the right of way.
● Contact Iowa One Call to locate the existing utilities with a 20’ radius of planting location: 1-800-292-8989.
● Be prepared to care for the tree for the first few years, including frequent watering and mulching.
1000Trees Grinnell has planted 656 trees and seedlings in Grinnell since August 2020. There will be further orders placed later this year. Grinnellians are able to purchase and plant a tree in the right of way on their own but should consult the City’s Recommended Tree List (available at www.grinnelliowa.gov) for approved trees.
The 1000Trees steering committee continues to organize a plan to systematically replant and support new trees in Grinnell. If you would like to donate to the initiative, please go to the Imagine Grinnell website, https://www.imaginegrinnell.org/support, and designate 1000Trees in the drop down option. Follow Imagine Grinnell’s facebook page and website for information on upcoming opportunities to volunteer. 1000Trees plans to coordinate with the City of Grinnell, Grinnell College, and other interested parties in the process of re-treeing Grinnell.
About Imagine Grinnell
Imagine Grinnell is a partner program of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation focused on creating healthier people and a healthier environment in the Grinnell community. The mission of Imagine Grinnell is to turn imagination into action to create a more vibrant, sustainable, and healthy Grinnell. For more information about Imagine Grinnell or to get involved, please visit imaginegrinnell.org or call 641-236-5518.