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Area program to be offered on native Iowa plants, trees

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 3:00 p.m. CDT

If you have ever wanted to learn more about Iowa’s native trees, grasses and wildflowers, you’ll have a chance to do so in a series of classes being offered in the area this spring and summer. Trees Forever will be offering its popular Stewards of the Beautiful Land program in Clarke County this year.

Trees Forever’s Stewards of the Beautiful Land program is designed to educate participants about the role and use of native trees, grasses and wildflowers in community, rural and home landscaping projects.

Staff from Trees Forever will lead four different, monthly class sessions from June through September. Other participating partners include Clarke County Conservation Board, Clarke County Extension and Outreach, Osceola Parks and Recreation and Clarke County Development Corporation. The first class starts June 18.

The Stewards of the Beautiful Land program will cover topics such as:

• Native plant identification

• Benefits and use of native plant species

• Design principles

• Planting practices

• Establishment and maintenance techniques

•Project Funding

In addition, class members will also help plan and plant a small local project using native plants.

The four-part series of classes begins on Tuesday, June 18, at the Turkey Ridge Wildlife Area, southeast of Osceola. Subsequent classes will be held at other locations around Clarke County. Participants should plan to travel to all four classes for the entire educational experience. Classes will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., and include classroom-style instruction as well as outdoor field study.

There is no cost to participate in the Stewards of the Beautiful Land program, but space is limited. No prior experience with or knowledge of native trees and plants is necessary, only a commitment to actively participate in the class series and the planting project.

To register for Trees Forever’s 2013 Stewards of the Beautiful Land program, or to get more information, visit the events calendar at www.treesforever.org or contact Leslie Berckes at lberckes@treesforever.org or 515-681-2295, or Brad Riphagen at briphagen@treesforever.org or 515-3701291. The deadline for registration is June 12.

Trees Forever is an Iowa-based nonprofit environmental organization focused on community tree planting, water quality initiatives and roadway and trail enhancements. The Stewards of the Beautiful Land program is funded by the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund (www.iowalivingroadway.com).

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