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Iowa schools and communities encouraged to order free seedlings now for spring

Iowa schools and communities are reminded that free seedlings will be available to them again this spring through the DNR’s Trees for Kids program.

Each school building and community may order one free packet consisting of 200 bare-root seedlings, 50 each of four selected species. The seedlings are delivered in April or May and are generally used as part of Earth Day/Week celebrations. Many are distributed to students, family, staff and community residents. Others are planted on school grounds and in parks, or use as part of educational programs. Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis until 200 packets are requested.

“Most people probably aren’t thinking about planting right now,” says Laura Wagner, DNR Trees for Kids Coordinator, “But because this program and our packets are so popular, we encourage folks to order early to get the best selections.”

Interested schools and communities need to complete a simple application form and those receiving packets will be asked to email at least one photo of the trees being planted and a short paragraph indicating where and why they were planted.  No other requirements are necessary to receive the free trees. 

The application deadline is April 1, 2017 and the application form, packet sheets with species photos and information, and instructions can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/urbanforestry by clicking on Trees For Kids Earth Month Celebration.

Schools and communities may select from the following specialty packets:

Fall Color –Trees and shrubs with vibrant fall color

Fastest Forest – Great along streams and wet areas, these grow at least 3 feet per year

Pollinator Packet – Provides vital host species for butterflies and other pollinators

Privacy Packet – Great to use as a visual barrier or along a fence line

Spring Flowers – Create spring color with these flowering shrubs and small trees

Storm Resistant Packet – These trees resist breakage from wind and ice storms

Wild Edible Packet – Enjoy an edible landscape

Trees for Kids is a DNR program with funding by Alliant Energy, MidAmerican Energy, Black Hills Energy, ITC, Trees Forever, Iowa Woodland Owners Association and Iowa Tree Farm Committee, and administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Forestry Bureau.

For more information about ordering no-cost Trees for Kids seedlings, contact Laura Wagner, DNR Trees for Kids Coordinator, 515-725-8456 or laura.wagner@dnr.iowa.gov

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