Community Forestry

Community Forestry

Trees Forever works to empower volunteers to plant trees in their communities where they live, work and play. Volunteers complete and maintain locally-led tree planting projects that add age and species diversity to existing community forests. In the wake of a natural disaster, Trees Forever works with communities to replant.

The trees in these communities will improve air quality, water quality, act as a natural sunscreen, provide homes for wildlife, and much more. We meet these needs through our Branching Out, Power of Trees, Granting a Better Tomorrow, Planting Hope and Illinois Community Forestry programs.

Planting Hope

Funding up to $5,000 is available to communities in Iowa and Illinois that experienced derecho impacts.

Apply by July 9 or November 1

Branching Out

Grants up to $5,000 (per community) for community-based tree planting projects in Iowa communities where Alliant Energy provides electric and/or natural gas service.

Apply by November 1

Power of Trees

Grants of up to $5,000 per project for community-based tree planting projects in Iowa communities that are served by Black Hills Energy.

Apply by November 1

Granting a Better Tomorrow

Grants of $100 to $1500 are available to youth-focused or youth-led projects in both Iowa and Illinois that seek to add more green to our communities through tree plantings. 

Apply by July 1

Illinois Community Forestry

Grants of $500 to $2,000 are available to Illinois communities diversifying their community forests or recovering from natural or man-made disasters particularly emerald ash borer (EAB). The grants will also help communities prepare for these disasters by planting more diverse disease and storm-resistant shade trees. Projects may include planting trees along streets, trails, community entryways, at schools, public buildings, parks and more.

Apply by September 24

ReLeaf Cedar Rapids

Trees Forever is working alongside the City of Cedar Rapids to replant the tree canopy lost to the August 2020 derecho. Current estimates show close to 65% of the city’s canopy was destroyed by the 100+ mph straight-line winds.


“At the end of the day, there’s nothing more peaceful than sitting on the porch, listening to the owls hoot off in the distance, seeing the deer frolic at the edge of the woods, hearing the sounds of the pheasants and quail out in the prairie, and watching the butterflies fluttering from flower to flower before dark.”

Walter Clark, Normal, IL – participant in the Illinois Buffer Partnership