ReLeaf Cedar Rapids
ReLeaf Cedar Rapids is an initiative to guide and implement the reforestation of Cedar Rapids. The ReLeaf Cedar Rapids project will be completed in four phases over the course of 10 months. The targeted completion date for the planning effort is late-October 2021. Find comprehensive information, follow the project and participate in public input opportunities.
Replanting has already begun throughout the region. Numerous organizations and businesses have stepped up to spearhead these replanting efforts and many more will continue to do so throughout the course of this project. The planning team is working closely with many of these entities while the planning work continues. Watch for tree adoption opportunities, as they come available.
Trees Forever leads the ReLeaf Cedar Rapids initiative, in coordination with consultant experts including Jeff Speck of Speck & Associates, and Confluence, Inc. The organizations are working collaboratively to develop a long-term reforestation effort that will address the urgency to reforest public spaces and outreach for planting in public spaces. It will also help address private property plantings.
The ReLeaf Cedar Rapids program will include:
- Goals for replanting public spaces including detailed plans for street right-of-ways and 38 public parks.
- Evaluation of pre-derecho street tree inventories and creation of a post-derecho public parks tree inventory and private institution tree inventory.
- Prioritization and phasing plans including neighborhoods, corridors, parks and other locations.
- Outreach plans for public tree plantings, private yard trees, and private tree locations including institutions such as colleges, corporate campuses, and apartment complexes.
- General tree planting priorities, strategies, and best practices.
- A “green print” plan for leaders, volunteers, Trees Forever, and citizens to follow for multiple decades while rebuilding a healthy urban canopy.
- Expansion of the Growing Futures program, which employs teens to plant and care for trees.
- Recommendations regarding policy and advocacy strategies to further the implementation plan.
Trees Forever is a local, trusted, nonprofit organization with a history of tree advocacy for more than 30 years. It has partnered with the City of Cedar Rapids on multiple tree initiatives in the past. Trees Forever will leverage public and private dollars along with volunteers in collaboration with the City of Cedar Rapids.
The visionary plan will include public engagement over a three-month period that will include virtual meetings, polling, and questionnaires. A steering committee that is representative of the community will guide outreach and input. A priority will be placed on creating guiding principles that include equity, diversity, and resiliency for citizens and trees.
Engagement is not a one time thing! This project website (link to Confluence) will be updated regularly with important information, new surveys, and other engagement opportunities. Check the website (link to Confluence) regularly to participate, review meeting materials, and learn about the on-going efforts to replant and grow the urban tree canopy in Cedar Rapids.
Share your input on the guiding principles that will inform the planning effort. Let us know which of them is most important to you.
Current estimates show close to 65% of the canopy was destroyed by the 100+ mph straight-line winds. The ReLeaf Cedar Rapids plan aims to put back that which was lost and more. We need your help to identify locations within the City where you lost trees, where you would like to see trees planted, and where you have recently planted a tree. This information will help the planning team quantify the loss of trees on private property as well is identify locations where more trees are needed. Please use the mapping tool to show your locations.