Cedar Rapids, IA (May 8, 2009)- Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL) and Trees Forever has awarded a $2,450 grant to the City of Arnolds Park through their Branching Out program. The grant will be used to purchase trees to plant around the Wildcat Ball Diamond concession stand area.
Arnolds Park Team WAVE (Willing Active Volunteers for the Environment) volunteers have planted just over 200 trees in the park over the past 4 years. In addition, several hundred shrubs, grasses and flowers have been planted. The group’s beautification efforts are a welcome site to locals as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors every summer.
Branching Out is a nationally-recognized grant program through which Alliant Energy, Trees Forever and local community leaders work together to fund and implement tree-planting projects. The program is designed to encourage energy efficiency, environmental awareness and community involvement in Iowa.
Team WAVE began its beautification efforts when the State of Iowa widened Highway 71 through the city of Arnolds Park. The initial work was done along Broadway, including a two-level wall and a traffic island. Since that time, Team WAVE has continued to take on new projects like the one at the Wildcat ball diamond. ‘This project, as many of our past projects, combines beautification and energy efficiency. The trees being planted are larger than usual to provide immediate shade to the new concession stand,” says Carol Herzog, Team WAVE Volunteer.
‘Trees Forever and Alliant Energy are committed to improving the environment and our quality of life through long-term tree planting and care,’ said Shannon Ramsay, President and CEO of Trees Forever. ‘We place a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation plantings that create positive solutions one neighborhood and community at a time.’
Branching Out is offered exclusively to Iowa communities where Alliant Energy provides electric and/or natural gas service. The utility provides grants of between $1,000 and $10,000 for community-based, tree-planting projects- like parks, gateways, cemeteries, nature trails, libraries, schools, and more. Trees Forever administers the program, providing technical and planning support. The City Council of Spirit Lake was presented with a $2,400 Branching Out grant.
Since the start of the Branching Out program in 1989, more than 1.1 million trees and seedlings have been planted as part of 2,252 Iowa projects by a volunteer force of 115,588 people. Environmentally, the trees planted represent a kilowatt hour savings of 14,550,629 -or enough energy to power nearly 1,500 average-size residential homes for one year.
Alliant Energy provides $2,450 for Arnolds Park planting project