Rock Island, IL/April 2014- With the help of the Quad Cities and surrounding communities, Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) is making this spring one for the record books! The MillionTrees Project (MTP) began back in 2007 with the goal of growing and distributing one million trees to help further their mission to protect, preserve and restore the natural environment of the nation’s major rivers and watersheds. After surpassing the halfway point last year, LL&W is proud to announce that this year the program's cumulative total will tally to a whopping 734,630 trees!
After a busy pre-season of taking tree orders, the 2014 MTP kicked off early this April with a tree wrapping. Paired with their gracious hosts--the QCCA Expo Center, this year's volunteers truly proved strength really does come in numbers. "We broke several records, wrapping 10,000 more trees than last year, and having 3 times the amount of volunteers as last year. I think its great when the Quad Cities can come together for an amazing cause and do something great for the environment," said MillionTrees Project Coordinator, Ashley Stover.
Three days of hard work resulted in 15,425 Burr Oak, 12,239 Northern Red Oak, 7,200 White Oak and 13,875 Swamp White Oak wrapped for a grand total of 48,739 trees prepped and ready for delivery! LL&W will spend the duration of the project this year not only delivering and planting these trees, but going one step further by branching out with their acorn plantings. They are in route to planting their 871,000th acorn this season!
"There is always such energy in the room and the spirit of cooperation is amazing. Total strangers working in harmony, from little bitty kids to old ladies, like me! I'm already looking forward to next year," said volunteer Lee Ann Wille from the Iowa Master Conservationist Program.
Our Complete Volunteer Group List included: the Boys and Girls Club, Rivers Edge Home School Friends and QC Home School Coalition, Christian Care for Homeless Veterans, Christian Care for Homeless Veterans, The ARC of the Quad Cities, John Deere, Rockridge Junior High, Stern Beverage, U.S. Bank, Nahant Marsh, WIU-Quad Cities Campus, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Modern Woodmen Youth Club, Salem Lutheran Church Youth Club-Moline, Faith Assembly Youth Club, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Assumption High School, North Scott High School's Leo Club, William's Junior High School-Davenport, 4H Club, Augustana SAI and Orion Middle School.
Chad Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the beautification and restoration of America’s major rivers and to the education of people about environmental issues. From his single boat beginning, LL&W has grown to an internationally known organization with a fleet of barges and workboats. LL&W engages thousands of volunteers each year in river cleanups, hands-on environmental education workshops, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup, Adopt-a-River-Mile programs and the Million Trees Project.