Grants and Funding Opportunities

Below is a listing of grants and funding opportunities for Iowa communities, schools, and groups.  Please contact us if you have information you would like to add about additional funding sources.  Feel free to ask questions or post comments in the comment area.


Branching Out is a nationally-recognized grant program where Alliant Energy, Trees Forever and your community work together to fund and implement tree-planting projects.  This is a community grant program to plant trees and improve energy efficiency in Iowa.  Please visit for more information.

Green your new industrial park with Alliant Energy’s Industrial Park Tree Grant Program. It’s available for land developers and industrial parks currently being developed in Iowa communities served by Alliant Energy. This program offers tree-planting grants specifically for industrial parks to encourage energy efficiency, environmental awareness and support economic growth.  Please visit for more information.


Trees For Kids Grant - 

Trees for Kids and Trees for Teens are educational programs that incorporate educational experiences with planting trees. A focus is placed on Iowa's elementary and secondary school students. We hope to educate students about the values of trees, and to encourage tree planting projects at schools or at other public areas in the state of Iowa.

This unique program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources - Bureau of Forestry in parnership with  MidAmerican Energy, Black Hills Energy, Alliant Energy, Trees Forever, Iowa Tree Farm Committee, Iowa Woodland Owners Association, Iowa Bankers Association, and Iowa Landscape and Nursery Association.

This will fund up to $5,000.00 of landscape tree cost on school grounds or other public property.  It is designed for hands-on learning, with the youth planting and caring for the trees.  An education component is required.  

The Fall 2012 Application is now available: Fall 2013 Grant Application for a Ms Word Format Grant Application, please e-mail with request

Project Learning Tree training is required for at least one educator from the applicant entity.  The next PLT training is Thursday and Friday, June 14th & 15th at Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge.  Click here for the application.

For more information about the Trees For Kids program, please contact Laura Wagner at or 515-281-6749

Trees Please Program - MidAmerican Energy Communities

Applications are mailed out in September and are due back the Third Friday in October.The Communities receive letter the second week of December to let them know what their grant will be. Checks are hand delivered in March to the Communities.Status reports are mailed to Communities in June or July and are due back by October 1st

We have included the following reminders so everyone understands the program requirements.

  •  Grant money must be used for the purchase of trees only.
  •  The trees need to be planted in common areas such as parks, trails and City owned right-of-ways. This program is not a residential customer tree-planting program.
  •  This program is a matching grant program. You must have matching funding from other sources that equals MidAmerican Energy’s grant amount, this can also be donated labor and or materials.

 We look forward to working with you and your community. Please call Kimberly Willer at 800-434-4017 with questions or e-mail at


USDA Forest Service 2012 Hazardous Fuels Woody Biomass Utilization Grant -- $3 million
The U.S. Forest Service requests proposals for wood energy projects that require engineering services. These projects will use woody biomass, such as material removed from forest restoration activities, wildfire hazardous fuel treatments, insect and disease mitigation, and/or forest management due to catastrophic weather events. The woody biomass shall be used in a bioenergy facility that uses commercially proven technologies to produce thermal, electrical, or liquid/gaseous bioenergy. The funds from this grant program must be used to further the planning of such facilities by funding the engineering services necessary for final design and cost analysis.

For more information.

HUD Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants -- $110 million
The HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants Program is aimed at helping communities develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy to achieve three core goals. The goals include transforming distressed public and assisted housing into energy-efficient, mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable over the long term, and transforming distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods into viable, mixed-income neighborhoods with access to well-functioning services, including public transportation.

For more information.

American Water Works Environmental Grant Program
American Water Works Company, Inc., a water and wastewater utility company has announced that applications are being accepted by its participating state subsidiaries for the company's 2012 Environmental Grant Program awards. Grants will be available in American Water service areas in ten states California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The program provides funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore, or protect the watersheds, surface water, and/or groundwater supplies through partnerships.

For more information.

EPA Announces Building Blocks Communities for 2012
EPA has selected 56 communities in 26 states to receive technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program in 2012. The assistance will be delivered in a day-long workshop for each community that will provide ideas on local policies and procedures to improve the local economy, environment, and quality of life.

For more information.


Workshops, Training and Field Days

This page gives you the opportunity to check out all of the workshops, training and field days going on throughout the state.  If you would like your workshop or field day to be posted here, please place your event in the comments below. 


Landscape Tree Planting and Care Workshop Series

Iowa DNR will be offering a series of workshops at various residential tree distribution events this spring. You do not need to purchase a tree at the event to attend the workshop, but we do not want you to purchase a tree that will be doomed to an early death by improper planting and maintenance.  Attend a short no-cost workshop to learn the most common errors that could kill your trees.  

Topics covered will be:

  • Root Flare and proper planting depth
  • Correcting encircling roots
  • proper mulching & watering
  • Corrective pruning to reduce future storm damage
  • planting around buildings for energy efficiency
  • Preparing for EAB

Click here for Appanoose County Tree Planting and Care Workshop Registration   Thursday, Thursday May 8th, 5:45 pm.  Led by District Forester, Jeremy Cochran

Click here for Boone County Tree Planting and Care Workshop Registration Thursday, May 1st, 5:30 pm.  Led by Operation ReLeaf Coordinator, Laura Wagner

Click here for Bremer County Tree Planting and Care Workshop Registration. Saturday May 31st at 9:15 am. Led By District forester, Jason Walker

Click Here for Henry County Tree Planting and Care Workshop Registration registration. Saturday, May 3rd at 10:00 am.  Led by DNR District Forester, Lisa Louck.

Click here for the Hiawatha Tree Planting and Care workshop registration - open to Hiawatha residents only.  Saturday, April 26, 10:00 am; led by District Forester, Mark Vitosh

Click here for Iowa County Tree Planting and Care Workshop Registration.  Thursday, May 22 at 4:45 pm; Led by District Forester, Mark Vitosh.

Click here for Linn County Tree Planting and Care Workshop Registration.  Saturday, April 26th, 8:15 am.   Led by District Forester Mark Vitosh

Click here for Newton Tree Planting and Care Workshop Registration registration, Thursday, April 24, at 5:45 pm.  Led by State Urban Forester, Emma Hanigan

 Click Here for Winnebago County Tree Planting and Care Workshop Registration, Wednesday, April 23rd, 5:00 pm  led by District Forester Greg Heidebrink.

Tree Programs

Residential Tree Distribution Programs

There are a variety of residential tree distribution programs throughout the state, which make high quality landscape stock available to residents at a reduced costs.  These programs are funded by various utilities and municipality.  If your community or utility is hosting a distribution that you would like listed, please post a comment below.  

If you are purchasing a landscape tree to plant, please check out our Iowa Resources page for planting and care instructions, or visit our Workshops, Training, and field Day page to sign up for a workshop.


Upcoming Residential Tree Programs


The Forestry Bureau of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be partnering with Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy again to offer reduced-cost trees to residential customers.  The goals of the program are increased reforestation and energy conservation.  Customers of either Alliant Energy or MidAmerican Energy who live in Iowa can reduce future energy use and at the same time landscape their homes and green up their communities this fall by participating in the program that is offered by their utility service provider.  Residential customers can purchase up to two landscape trees for just $25 or $30 each (depending on the program).  Each project has a variety of trees available, and typically includes 2-3 shade trees, an ornamental, and a conifer.  The trees are three to eight feet tall.  Advanced orders are required. Locations include:

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