Volunteers and community leaders in Dysart are planting trees to provide more shade and save energy. The local effort is part of the statewide Trees Forever and Alliant Energy Branching Out community tree-planting program.
"We're looking forward to working with Trees Forever and Alliant Energy to plant more trees this year," says Kevin Alpers. "With their help, we are literally growing a better environment while making Dysart healthier, more vibrant and more energy efficient."
Planting trees helps lower residential and commercial energy costs and helps reduce peak electric demand. Trees also provide many other long-term health, economic, social and environmental benefits to the community.
"Trees Forever and Alliant Energy are very excited to support this great project, as we know it will provide years and years of beauty and benefits to the community," says Shannon Ramsay, Trees Forever Founding President. "We want to thank our local volunteers for their hard work and their dedication to improving the environment and quality of life in Dysart. Together, we can all make a wonderful difference in the places we live, work and play."
Trees Forever administers the Branching Out program throughout Iowa, providing technical and planning support to participating communities. Alliant Energy funds the overall program, and provides project grants to the communities. The program will award more than $143,054 in grants to assist 49 Iowa communities and groups with tree-planting projects this spring; Dysart will receive $2,000.00 for its tree-planting project.
"Energy efficiency is important to everyone, and we believe our investment in tree planting and education will help our customers become more aware of the benefits that trees have to offer," said Tom Aller, president of Alliant Energy's Interstate Power and Light. "We care about the communities we serve and welcome the opportunity to help them."
If you would like to volunteer to help plant and care for the trees in Dysart, please call Kevin Alpers at (319) 476-3683 or Trees Forever at 1-800-369-1269 x 10.
Branching Out grant applications are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year, but are considered for funding during two grant-making cycles (spring and fall). The next application deadline is June 1, 2010. Fall 2010 grant recipients will be announced in August. For more information, contact Trees Forever at 1-800-369-1269 x10. Applications are available online at www.alliantenergy.com/branchingout or www.treesforever.org.
Branching Out is a nationally-recognized program where Alliant Energy, Trees Forever and Iowa communities work together to plan and create outstanding tree-planting projects. The program is designed to encourage energy efficiency, environmental awareness, and community stewardship in Iowa. Branching Out is offered exclusively to Iowa communities where Alliant Energy provides electric and/or natural gas service. The utility provides grants of between $500 and $10,000 for community-based, tree-planting projects - like parks, gateways, cemeteries, nature trails, libraries, nursing homes, schools and more. Trees Forever administers the program, providing technical and planning support.
(Contacts: Deb Roman, Trees Forever, 800-369-1269 x10, Bonnie Donnolly, Alliant Energy, 319-786-7788)