The deadline is tomorrow to apply for grants in a program that aims to teach Iowa youngsters an appreciation for trees and how to plant them. Laura Wagner coordinates Trees For Kids through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“It’s designed to get youth involved and outside in planting,” Wagner says. “It’s not a program where kids sit in a circle and watch adults plant the trees. They actually get their hands dirty and plant the trees themselves.”

This marks the 16th year for the Trees For Kids program. The process moves quickly, according to Wagner, following the application deadline Wednesday at the close of business.

“By March 15th, I’ll let the applicants know if they were awarded the grant,” Wagner says, “and then they can get started planting in April.”

Each grant is for up to $5,000 to purchase landscape trees and mulch. Between 20 and 60 grants are awarded each year.

“We get into the schools and teach the kids how to plant a tree, do a planting demonstration and then each school or community that receives a grant plants anywhere between 10 and 80 trees on their school grounds, parks and other areas,” she says.

Applications for Trees For Kids can be downloaded at

Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City