MillionTrees Project Grows to Halfway Mark! Print
News Releases - Environment, Weather & Nature
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:42

This spring, with the help of 800 volunteers, including an AmeriCorps NCCC team, Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) packaged and distributed over 140,000 oak tree saplings to community members, schools, park districts, and businesses within 13 different states throughout the country.  Over 350 volunteers helped LL&W wrap 24,500 saplings at the QCCA Expo center over a 6-day period in March.  Along with the wrapping and distribution, LL&W also hosted community plantings in Peoria, IL and Des Moines, IA.


Living Lands & Waters began the MillionTrees Project (MTP) in 2007.  In the past six years, 476,000 tree saplings have been wrapped, handed out, and/or planted with the help of over 3,000 volunteers.  The main goal of MTP has been to plant one million trees to provide shelter and a viable food source for wildlife and migratory birds, increase biodiversity, help reduce run-off and erosion, and to improve water and air quality.  The planting and distribution of oak tree saplings also helps repopulate devastated areas such as Joplin, MO after the tornado, Southern Illinois after the inland hurricane, and Cedar Rapids after the tremendous flooding.  Tree handouts are held on Earth Day at several schools to bring awareness about the importance of trees and their environment to the students as well.


The AmeriCorps NCCC team, stationed out of Vinton, IA, worked side by side with Living Lands & Waters for two months and contributed so much to the organization’s mission.  The journey started when the team joined forces with LL&W to clean up a portion of the Mississippi River during LL&W’s Alternative Spring Break in Memphis, TN.  The Americorps NCCC, also known as Maple 1, then stopped off at LL&W’s nursery in Beardstown, IL to help harvest 20,000 saplings and prepare the beds for next season. Maple 1 was a huge asset to LL&W’s MillionTrees Project this year, doing everything asked of them including wrapping, packaging, distributing, and planting.


LL&W is looking to establish a new nursery in the Quad Cities where 150,000 acorns will be planted in the first year.  Volunteers will be needed to assist with the upkeep and harvesting of this nursery.  For more information, visit LL&W’s website at or call the MillionTrees Project Coordinator, Ashley Stover, at 309.737.5913.


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.


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