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Trees Forever Offers Volunteer TreeKeeper Training at Drake University April 8, 15, and 22

Trees Forever offers volunteer TreeKeeper training

Series of three classes to be held in April

DES MOINES (March 14, 2014) - Des Moines-area residents are invited to make a difference in their neighborhoods and community by training to become TreeKeepers.

The volunteer training program, offered by Trees Forever in partnership with the city of Des Moines, 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.

Classes are particularly relevant as the threat of Emerald Ash Borer spreads across Iowa. As part of the nine hours of classroom and hands-on study led by experienced Trees Forever staff members and other local experts, participants will learn about tree stresses, such as Emerald Ash Borer. Training also includes tree species identification and benefits, proper planting techniques and tree maintenance.

"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," Des Moines municipal arborist David Jahn said. "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."

What: TreeKeepers training

Where: Drake University, Harmon Fine Arts Center, Room 204

When: Tuesdays, April 8, 15, and 22: 6-9 pm

Register at Cost is $30 and includes a light dinner, an official TreeKeepers handbook and a t-shirt.

Upon completing 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.

"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," said Leslie Berckes, local program manager with Trees Forever.

For more information, contact 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

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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.

Leslie Berckes
(515) 681-2295




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