Growing Futures

A note regarding COVID-19: 


Much like the rest of the world, Growing Futures has precautions in place to protect all individuals involved from the spread of COVID-19 while we work together to plant more trees in our community! To help prevent the spread, each team member will:

  • Wear a mask during working hours 
  • Social distance and avoid close contact by putting distance between yourself and other teammates
  • Stay home if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and areas 
  • Each teammate will be responsible for driving themselves to a planting site to ensure social distancing. If transportation is not an option for a teammate, contact the Growing Futures supervisor to discuss alternatives. 


Trees Forever’s Growing Futures job employment program takes a unique approach to caring for our community’s trees. Through Growing Futures, teams of teenagers are employed to help grow our tree canopy all while learning about the world around them and the potential within themselves. 
Growing Futures has a powerful social and environmental impact because the program prioritizes underserved neighborhoods; neighborhoods that research shows already lack tree cover and are in need of dedicated resources. Healthy trees reduce stormwater, clean the air, save energy, create beauty, and even provide us with mental and physical well-being. Together, we have the opportunity to employ young people, and build the whole person through career readiness opportunities, so that we all reap the benefits.
Through Growing Futures, teams of seven to ten teenagers plant, water and care for trees in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, with the goal to expand Growing Futures to other communities. With adult supervision and training, these teenagers learn new skills that will position them to be future leaders in the community. 



Throughout the spring, summer and fall, Growing Future Teammates will:

  • Plant, water and prune trees
  • Mulch and stake trees
  • Grow the urban forest
  • Build job experience
  • Improve professional skills


Teammates take part in weekly professional development training that includes:

  • Resume building
  • Financial literacy
  • Job shadow
  • Green careers
  • Tree identification
  • Conflict resolution
  • First aid training


Growing Futures


Des Moines Growing Futures is proudly sponsored by:

  • Arbor Day Foundation
  • The City of Des Moines
  • Microsoft
  • Wright Tree Service
  • Wright Outdoor Solutions


Cedar Rapids Growing Futures is proudly sponsored by:

  • City of Cedar Rapids
  • Transamerica
  • Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation
  • United Fire Group
  • Alliant Energy



Read about us in the Cedar Rapids Gazette!


Learn more about Growing Futures


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