MIDAMERICAN ENERGY AWARDS MARION A TREES PLEASE! GRANT
The City of Marion was recently awarded a grant through MidAmerican Energy’s Trees Please! program. Greg Wildebour (pictured at left) with MidAmerican Energy presented a $1,000 check to Tree Board Chair Scott Hansen at its monthly board meeting on March 7. Hansen indicated the grant funding would be used to replace trees previously removed in the city’s right-of-way areas. The trees will be planted in the spring and fall for optimal planting and survival.
MidAmerican Energy offers many energy efficiency programs to residential and nonresidential customers. With the Trees Please! program, customers benefit from beautification and environmental enhancements in their communities. Trees Please! funds are distributed each year to local communities to promote energy efficiency and improve the physical appearance of communities through the planting of trees.
Trees improve energy efficiency by serving as natural windbreaks and providing shade to homes and businesses. According to the USDA Forest Service research, strategically placed mature trees can cut annual air conditioning demands up to 56 percent and heating costs up to 3 percent. Trees beautify parks, roadways and other common spaces within a community. Planting trees also improves air quality and helps protect and nourish the soil.
Trees Please! grant recipients are selected based on the individual merits of the project, the benefit to the community and the ability to obtain matching funds.
For additional information, contact Mike Cimprich, City Arborist, (319) 447-3580.
ABOUT URBAN FORESTRYThe City of Marion's Urban Forestry Division is dedicated to managing and maintaining the quality of our community’s green infrastructure.
- The City of Marion plants over 150 trees in the city right of way and park spaces each year.
- The City of Marion was awarded $11,500 last year by local grant providers to purchase trees for plantings that directly benefit the local public.
- The City of Marion organizes multiple GREEN events each year to educate and involve volunteers of varying ages from cub scouts and 1st grade students to longtime residents. Projects range from plating trees, tree care and pruning, mulching, removing invasive plant species and trash and leaf collection among many others.
- The City of Marion manages a 110 acre natural woodland area (Faulkes Heritage Woods) with a conservation easement held by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
Mike Cimprich, City Arborist
Homeowners are required to obtain a tree permit for tree plantings in the right of way; trimming in the right of way, and removal of trees in the right of way. This process allows us to accurately track trees that the City is responsible for and ensure proper placement. A site inspection will be performed by our city arborist. An informational packet and permit may be obtained at either Thomas or Lowe Park during normal office hours.
There is no fee for this Right of Way permit for planting, removal and trimming.
The Marion Parks and Recreation Department offers a
program to the public where Urban Forestry Staff will plant
a tree with placement of an optional engraved plaque in honor of the desired memorial.
Current plantings are being placed at Lowe Park along the trail to encourage future canopy development in an already amazing natural park setting.
For tree selection details and cost information contact the Marion Parks and Recreation Administration building, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (319) 447-3580.
| Type of Planting
Memorial Tree Plaque
EMERALD ASH BORER (EAB)
The City of Marion recognizes the need to be prepared to respond to the presence of the emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive, highly invasive, non-native insect that has the potential to affect the City’s urban forest for years to come.
The City has developed an Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Plan to identify appropriate and effective response actions to be taken in the event that the emerald ash borer is discovered within Marion city limits. These actions include prevention, detection, communication, and management activities. The City is committed to using the best available science, and information about the economic, environmental, and social consequences of the available options, as the basis for making appropriate management and control recommendations.
City of Marion's Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Plan
Emerald Ash Borer Information Guide
Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet
TREE CITY USA
Marion has been Recognized with the Tree City USA community status since 1993 (23 years). Additionally receiving the Growth Award consecutively for 23.
The Arbor Day Foundation and the Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.
Recognized communities have achieved Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management:
- Maintaining a tree board or department
- Having a community tree ordinance
- Spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry
- Celebrating Arbor Day
The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects as well as increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. It also provides an opportunity to share new ideas and successes across the country.
URBAN FOREST UTILITY
This fee is charged to Marion residents per month/per account to help pay for and maintain trees on City owned property, including right-of-way parking areas and City park greenspaces. The fee also provides for the disposal and re-use of tree-related materials including compost and mulch.
The Marion Parks Department is responsible for Marion’s Urban Tree management and hired a City Arborist in January 2016 and an arborist technician in May 2016. The work requirements of these two positions will be directly supported by the Urban Forest Utility Fund.
With the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer currently in and around Linn County, funds will also be used to pay for tree removal and replacement of City-owned trees. The City’s Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Plan includes a provision to help offset private tree replacement costs for residents.
How has the fund grown?
- Effective Dec. 1, 2014: the Urban Forest Utility Fee increased 20 cents from $1.80 to $2 per month.
- Effective July 1, 2015: an Urban Forest Utility Fee increase to $2.25 per month was established.
- No increase is scheduled to the Urban Forest Utility for the 2016-2017 budget.