Lansing is branching out with new trees from Trees Forever and Alliant Energy

Volunteers and community leaders are taking an active role in saving energy and adding beauty to Lansing by planting new trees. The local effort is part of the Branching Out program offered by Trees Forever and Alliant Energy.

"We're looking forward to working with tree experts at Trees Forever and the energy experts at Alliant Energy to make our community healthier, more vibrant and more energy efficient," said local project volunteer Stephanie Runkle.

Planting trees can reduce energy use by creating shade that cools the air and buildings, and by blocking cold winds. Trees also provide long-term health, economic, social and environmental benefits to the community.

"Trees Forever and Alliant Energy are very excited to support this project, as we know it will provide years and years of beauty and benefits to the community," said Shannon Ramsay, Trees Forever CEO and 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 Lansing. Together, we are planting a better tomorrow."

Trees Forever administers the Branching Out program throughout Iowa, providing technical and planning support to participating communities. Alliant Energy funds the program and provides project grants to the communities. This fall, Branching Out will award nearly $128,000 in grants to assist 28 Iowa communities and groups with tree-planting projects. Lansing will receive $2,354 for tree planting.

"When you plant a tree, you're starting to leave behind a legacy," said Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy's Iowa energy. "Fifteen years from now you can come back, and it is impressive. These trees provide a benefit to the community in terms of energy efficiency and carbon reduction for years to come and we're proud to be a part of it."

Anyone who would like to volunteer to help plant and care for the trees in Lansing may call Tom Burke at 563-419-1907 or Trees Forever at 1-800-369-1269, ext. 110.

Branching Out grant applications are accepted throughout the year, but are considered for funding during two grant-making cycles (spring and fall). The next application deadline is November 1 for spring 2018 projects, with award recipients announced in January. For more information, call Trees Forever at 1-800-369-1269, ext. 110, visit alliantenergy.com/branchingout or 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 $1000 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.
 

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