Imagine Grinnell Starts 1000+ Trees Grinnell initiative following August derecho

Imagine Grinnell has convened community volunteers and City partners to form the 1000+ Trees Grinnell initiative in an effort to replace trees lost during the August 10th derecho. A significant portion of the Grinnell tree canopy fell victim to the storm as well as the previous emerald ash borer infestation. As part of its mission to turn imagination into action to create a more vibrant, sustainable, and healthy Grinnell, Imagine Grinnell is leading the effort for the replacement of community trees. 

“Imagine Grinnell is excited to grow this re-treeing initiative. 1000+ Trees will help all of Grinnell replace the trees lost to the Derecho and Ash Bore,” explains Tim Ellsworth, Imagine Grinnell Board President and 1000+ Trees committee member. “We’ll help the City and residents fund, acquire, plant and maintain a new urban forest that will be enjoyed for generations to come. 1000+ Trees will be the hub for the best ideas, best buying power, and best multi-year approach to low maintenance, long lasting new trees. We’re excited to include young students, service organizations, residents and business to take active roles.”

The 1000+ Trees steering committee will inventory both trees that have been lost and those that are newly planted. The committee intends to purchase trees in bulk in order to help Grinnell residents replace trees on their property. The current goal is to identify residents’ needs and develop a plan to begin planting trees in Spring 2021. The initiative will raise funds from individuals, businesses and philanthropies as well as educate the public on tree care and maintenance to ensure that the trees are healthy and live for many decades. The initial goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of October. The ultimate fundraising goal is $50,000 over three years. If you would like to donate to the initiative please go to the Imagine Grinnell website, and designate 1000+ Trees in the memo. Follow, Imagine Grinnell’s facebook page and website for information on opportunities to volunteer. 1000+ Trees plans to coordinate with the City of Grinnell, Grinnell College, and other interested parties in the process of re-treeing Grinnell.

The City of Grinnell continues to work to clear damaged and dead trees from city parks and the right of way. There is currently a moratorium on all tree plantings within the publicly owned rights-of-ways through December 31, 2020. This moratorium will allow city staff to complete an inventory of trees on public properties. Private property owners may plant trees on their property, so long as they are not in the right of way. State law requires that residents contact Iowa One Call (800) 292-8989 or visit before digging. If residents have questions or concerns, they are encouraged to contact the Grinnell Building and Planning Department at 641-236-2600.

If you’re interested in joining the 1000+ Tree Grinnell initiative planning committee or if you have already planted one or more trees since August 10, 2020, please email Jennifer Cogley at or call 641-236-5518, ext. 109. The 1000+ Trees initiative wants to track and thank everyone who helps reach the goal of planting at least 1000 new trees in Grinnell.