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Governor Reynolds celebrates Arbor Day by signing tree canopy proclamation

DES MOINES – Today on Arbor Day, Governor Kim Reynolds signed the first-ever Iowa canopy cover proclamation, with many DNR forestry staff and partner organizations from across Iowa in attendance.

The proclamation highlights the importance of trees and tree cover to the environment, the economy and quality of life for Iowans. 

“We encourage all Iowans to participate in tree planting and learn about maintenance and protection of current tree canopy cover,” said Chuck Gipp, director of the DNR. “We have numerous experts with the DNR that can lend expertise and work together to increase tree cover in our state.”

Iowa has approximately 18.5 percent community tree cover and 10 percent total urban and rural tree cover. New U.S. Forest Service research ranks Iowa 9th in urban tree canopy cover loss over a five-year time period, losing almost 2 percent of its tree canopy. In rural woodlands, a separate Forest Inventory and Assessments study showed a loss of 97,000 acres over five years.

“Understanding the importance of trees and their canopy and the trends in Iowa tree cover loss makes tree planting more important than ever,” said Emma Hanigan, DNR urban forestry coordinator. 

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