unloading trees

14,535 Trees

683 1024 Monarch Research Project

In the next three weeks an army of 3,318 individuals will receive and plant 14, 535 trees as part of our Planting Forward program.

The Planting Forward program started in 2020 and, with the trees arriving in April, will have facilitated the distribution and planting of over 40,000 native trees.  The program has a goal to distribute/plant an additional 100,000 trees over the next five years.

We partner with schools, hospitals, neighborhood associations, historical sites, and local governments to distribute trees to employees. “By working directly with organizations and their employees, we create an enthusiastic army of volunteers who have opted to engage in this community-wide initiative,” states Monarch Research founder Clark McLeod.

Monarch Research introduced a new program this winter, Planting Forward for Woodlands. The Program allows landowners to purchase from 25 to 150 trees. The response was fantastic, nearly 4,500 trees were ordered in January and the landowners will receive the trees on or before April 14.

In addition to the 4,500 trees purchased for woodland restoration, area school employees will plant nearly 5,000 trees, and other local organizations, including Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health, have ordered another 5,000 trees.  With the support of private donations we are distributing two-thirds of the trees at no charge, the remaining trees are being purchased by large landowners and private employers.

“We are focused on distributing trees through employers to be planted on land that is not government-owned,” states our founder Clark McLeod. Non-government-owned land held 80% of trees destroyed by the 2020 derecho in Linn County. This loss substantially impacts the entire ecosystem. This tragic loss is exacerbated if landowners unknowingly plant non-native tree species which have zero or negative impact to the ecosystem.

Understanding the importance of replanting native species to Iowa, MR established a relationship with a prominent regional native tree nursery, Forrest Keeling Nursery. MR and Forrest Keeling worked side by side on the logistics required to fulfill thousands of individual orders.

We strongly believe responding to our global environmental challenges requires a focused, local response. Our strategic focus on native trees is a critical component of restoring pollinator habitat in our own backyard.

Planting Forward Fall 2022 order information will be announced in late Spring.