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Iowa Arboretum Grant

 

March 09, 2021

The GCA Supports a Massive Tree Restoration Project

On August 10, a derecho storm producing extremely destructive, 100 mph straight-line winds ripped across Iowa. Within its path was the Iowa Arboretum. The storm twisted, shredded, and uprooted more than 200 of the arboretum’s trees. Responding to a Restoration Initiative grant request from the Des Moines Founders Garden Club, The Garden Club of America has awarded $10,000 to support the cost of replanting many of the trees lost to the storm.

Mark Schneider, executive director of the Iowa Arboretum, was working on site when the storm hit. Stepping outside once the storm passed, he described the scene as "heartbreaking." Of the more than 200 trees badly damaged in the storm, 133 of them would require removal. Many of these trees were valuable showcase trees that had taken forty to fifty years to grow, and were beloved by the arboretum’s members. 

Large numbers of volunteers have shown up to help clean up the property, and the arboretum was able to have a partial reopening seven weeks after the storm, though the woodland trails are still closed. As with most nature centers this year, the Iowa Arboretum has been especially important as a refuge for social distancing, and with the help of the GCA’s grant, the organization will be able to move forward with replanting.

The GCA established the Restoration Initiative in 2017 in response to the urgent needs caused by catastrophic storms, hurricanes, floods, fires, and mudslides to assist member clubs involved in public landscape restoration and conservation projects. Eleven grants, totaling $110,000, have been awarded to clubs in California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas.

 

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The GCA’s 2021 National Affairs & Legislation Conference
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