Growing Futures, Growing Trees

Project Profile

Project Location

Des Moines, IA

Project Lead

Trees Forever





Trees Forever, a non-profit with a nearly 30-year track record, has launched a new youth employment and tree planting program called Growing Futures that will address critical social, economic, and environmental needs in Des Moines, IA. In partnership with the City of Des Moines and Microsoft, Growing Futures will take a thoughtfully designed and hands-on approach to engage youth, provide a path to green careers, and plant more trees in under-resourced neighborhoods. 

Growing Futures is one of the first programs of its kind in the country. Picture this: a dynamic force of young people planting and caring for trees along city streets and in areas most in need of greening, planting the trees of their future.

Every tree planting project demonstrates impacts that create a more just and sustainable future.

Human Health

Air Quality and Respiratory Effects – 70%
Urban Heat Effects – 90%
Physical Activity and Active Living – 40%
Wellness and Mental Health – 18%
Connections and Cohesion for Social Health – 87%

Social Equity

Inequity Context – 58%
Site Selection – 37%
Community Engagement in Project Design – 80%
Community Participation in Project Implementation – 70%
Economic Equity – 100%


Site Prep and Implementation – 70%
Climate Action – 91%
Water Quality and Quantity – 66%
Habitat, Food, and Wood Production – 14%
Bioremediation – 0%
Good Health and Well Being
Clean Water and Sanitation
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Climate Action

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