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Trees Forever Accepting Applications for TreeKeepers Training Program

Des Moines, Iowa - (March 22, 2013) - Trees Forever is expanding its TreeKeepers volunteer training program by offering another series of classes this spring. The volunteer training program is designed for people who want to become more involved in and knowledgeable about urban tree planting and care, and who wish to become a stronger voice for trees in their neighborhood and community. The TreeKeepers program is offered in partnership with the cities of Des Moines, Urbandale, Johnston, and Windsor Heights.

Participants in the TreeKeepers program will take part in nine hours of classroom and hands-on study led by experienced Trees Forever staff members and other local tree experts. This spring's series of three TreeKeepers training classes will take place on April 9, 16, and 23 from 6:00 pm to 9:00pm. The first class will be held at the Windsor Heights Community Center, 6900 School Street.

Des Moines municipal arborist David Jahn states, "We are excited to continue the TreeKeepers program and to build a dedicated group of volunteers who will plant more trees and care for our valuable street trees in the area. Our TreeKeepers have actively served as the 'eyes and ears' for our public trees, and have volunteered hours and hours of their time at tree planting and care events in neighborhoods throughout Des Moines."

TreeKeepers training incorporates opportunities for hands-on experience, as well as classroom sessions covering tree identification and physiology, proper planting and maintenance, the benefits of trees, and more. After completion of the TreeKeepers program, participants will be equipped with the knowledge of how to better maintain trees in their own backyard as well as the entire community, maximizing the benefits of trees for future generations.

"TreeKeepers will give residents the opportunity to participate in tree planting and care projects, and protect our community trees," says Leslie Berckes, local Program Manager with Trees Forever. "Participants who have taken the class and participated in the tree care events look at trees in a different light, realizing the positive benefits good tree canopy cover can provide," Berckes adds.

The cost of the TreeKeepers training program is $30, and includes light dinner, an official TreeKeepers handbook, and a TreeKeepers t-shirt.

Additional funding and support for the TreeKeepers program in Polk County is provided by Wells Fargo, the City of Des Moines, MidAmerican Energy, Principal Financial Group, Prairie Meadows, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Iowa Foundation for Education, Environment, and the Arts, and Trees Forever members.

To participate in the TreeKeepers program, or for more information, please contact Trees Forever's Leslie Berckes at 515-681-2295 or email Additional information on the TreeKeepers program and other Trees Forever programs and events can be found at


Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization based in Marion, IA committed to planting trees, encouraging community involvement and stewardship, and caring for the environment. Programs focus on improving air and water quality, increasing wildlife habitat, providing substantial energy savings, and beautifying our landscape. For more information, visit or call 800-369-1269.

(Contact: Mark Signs at 319-325-7750 or Leslie Berckes at 515-681-2295)




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