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Many activities offered for Earth Week Blitz
by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · April 13th, 2017

Earth Week 2017 is scheduled to begin on Earth Day - Saturday, April 22 - and continue through the following Saturday. And Arbor Day falls on Friday, April 28, in Iowa. Many entities are collaborating to provide experts and a great deal of information for you and your family.

Monday, April 18 - What's the Value of a Tree?

Trees Forever, the City of Marion and the City of Cedar Rapids are calculating the value of several large trees in the area and marking them with giant price tags highlighting the economic benefits these trees provide.

Help these groups promote the value of trees by finding the large price tags and posting a photo on social media!

Saturday, April 22, Earth Day - EcoFest

On Saturday, Earth Day, head for NewBo City Market at 1100 3rd St. SE in Cedar Rapids. A number of activities are available there for you and your family between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Trees Forever booth will have an educational art project for the kids. Children will learn about the life cycle of a butterfly and why trees are important to pollinators. They will do a craft using pasta.

Tree experts will be on hand to give advice on your tree-related projects.

The Trees Forever Field Coordinator will lead an educational tree walk of both young street trees and older neighborhood trees.

The Linn County Solid Waste Agency will have FREE compost to take home. Green Iowa Americorp will help you with your load!

Sunday, April 23 - Tour de Trees

Go to Another Road Brewing at 1175 8th Avenue, Marion. That will be the beginning of the Tour de Trees event. It begins at 1 p.m.

This event consists of a 13-mile bicycle ride with tree-related points of interest along the way. Registration can be accomplished online.

The ride will end at Lion Bridge Brewing Company, 59 16th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids.

Lion Bridge will host an after-ride party. Enjoy a drink after the ride. One dollar from every drink sold on Sunday will go to Trees Forever.

Tuesday, April 25 - Kids' Woodland Scavenger Hunt, Thomas Park, Marion (343 Marion Blvd.)

The FREE Woodland Scavenger Hunt will be held at Thomas Park between 4:30 and 6 p.m. Pick up a list and search for the items in the park. You can register your child online.

Tuesdays, April 18, 25, May 2, 9 - TreeKeeper Classes

Become a trained TreeKeeper. During these classes which run from 6 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday evening, you will learn how to identify and care for trees. TreeKeepers are the "eyes and ears" for the trees in their neighborhoods and serve as "tree ambassadors" in the community year-round. Register online. The $30 cost includes a dinner, T-shirt, and notebook as well as the knowledge you'll acquire in the classes.

Wednesday, April 26 - Cherokee Park Tree Planting (Cedar Rapids)

The City of Cedar Rapids, along with Trees Forever and Transamerica volunteers and community volunteers, will plant, mulch and stake approximately a dozen trees at Cherokee Park. Bicyclists, walkers and other trail users will enjoy the beauty of these trees near the trail for years to come. This event will take place between 9 a.m. and noon.

Thursday, April 27 - Linn County Public Health Tree Maintenance Day

This event will be held at the Linn County Community Services Building at 1240 26th Ave. Court SW in Cedar Rapids from 2 to 5 p.m. Again, this is a joint effort. Representatives will be on hand from Trees Forever, the Linn County Public Health staff, and TreeKeepers. Transamerica volunteers and other community volunteers will help, too. They will mulch and maintain trees around the Public Health building. Many of these trees were planted during an earlier Trees Forever event, and Earth Week is a good opportunity to give them a bit of TLC (tender loving care).

Friday, April 28, Arbor Day - Lowe Park Sapling Planting

This activity will take place from noon to 4 p.m. It is to be held at Marion's Lowe Park. Please meet at the entrance near the intersection of Irish Drive and West Williams Drive. Trees Forever, the City of Marion, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Transamerica volunteers and community volunteers will plant 200 saplings in Lowe Park. This park is the home of many Trees Forever projects, and this big planting activity is a great way to spend Arbor Day!

Many partnerships are making this planting possible, including a Trees For Kids grant.

Saturday, April 29 - Linn Landowner Forum

This landowner forum is FREE and will be held at Clearwater Farms (4970 Lakeside Rd. in Marion) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A number of partners are working together to provide this event. They include Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the Monarch Research Project, Trees Forever and Linn County Conservation.

The forum will provide information to landowners in Linn and neighboring counties. The purpose of the forum is to help landowners bring more nature to their land.

The hope is to restore and preserve 10,000 more acres of natural land in Linn County. This will benefit pollinators and other wildlife, increase water quality and help prevent flooding. Neighborhoods will be healthier, waters cleaner and lives more interesting.

Experts will be on hand to offer specialized advice, and attendees will be able to learn the benefits of natural land as well as about funding available from the federal, state and local governments when you restore natural areas on your land.

Note: An optional lunch and conversation starts at noon.

For more information or to register online, go to

For the landowners' forum, you can either go to the Trees Forever website or call Linn County Conservation at 319-892-6450 regarding you RSVP to attend.
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