Eight Operation ReLeaf Events Planned in Iowa for Fall 2011
Posted: 09/13/2011
DES MOINES – Iowans looking for a cost-effective, yet eye-pleasing way to reduce home heating and cooling costs are encouraged to participate in Operation ReLeaf.  Operation ReLeaf is a residential tree planting program that promotes long-term energy and natural resource conservation. 

Operation ReLeaf is a partnership initiative funded by Alliant Energy and administered by the Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau with assistance from local partners, which include county conservation boards and county extension offices.   

Through the program, 2,380 high quality landscaping trees will be offered to Alliant Energy residential customers for $25 each.  The trees typically retail for $65 or more and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Alliant Energy will sponsor Operation ReLeaf events in Charles City, Sept. 22, 5 to 7 p.m.; Grinnell, Sept. 24, 9 to 11 a.m.; Perry, Oct. 1, 9 to 11 a.m.; Ogden, Oct. 6, 5 to 7 p.m.; Marion, Oct. 8, 7:30 to 9 a.m.; Otley, Oct. 13, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; Mount Pleasant, Oct. 15, 9 to 11 a.m.; and Centerville, Oct. 22, 9 to 11 a.m.
Tree species offered will vary at each event and include shade trees, ornamentals and conifers. 

“We encourage homeowners to prepare for Emerald Ash Borer and other tree pests by planting a diverse mix of tree species,” said Paul Tauke, Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau chief and state forester. 

Just a few of the advantages of yard trees are that they decrease household heating and cooling costs, increase property values, decrease storm water runoff and add beauty and personal enjoyment.
Operation ReLeaf participants must be Alliant Energy residential customers.  Advanced order is highly recommended and advance purchase is limited to two trees per household.  In the event there are extra trees available on distribution day, those trees will be released for purchase at that time.  Order forms are available online (www.alliantenergy.com/releaf).

All trees are purchased through a bidding process to promote local nurseries, Tauke said.  “This is a great way for homeowners to get a quality tree at an affordable price.”