Plant It Forward

Thanks to 145 donors from 12 states, Trees Forever became the 10th nonprofit to complete the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Endowment Challenge. Thank you to all who helped us achieve this goal! We celebrated this milestone by unveiling a new grant program called Granting a Better Tomorrow with a tree planting at Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids.


“We’re excited to be the first organization to use one of these grants to improve the lives of at-risk children,” Tanager Place CEO Okpara Rice said. “Our campus was in great need of trees, so these new trees will benefit children and families who visit our campus for years to come.”


Studies have shown that activity within nature and green spaces can make a positive impact on children with mental health challenges, specifically, these activities can reduce ADHD symptoms, decrease frustration, lower mental distress and depression disorders and improves body image, self-esteem and life satisfaction.


“One of our main goals at Trees Forever is to get kids outside and engaging with nature. You never know what may spark in a young person’s mind while out exploring and planting trees,” Trees Forever Founding President and CEO Shannon Ramsay said. “This new grant program will provide more opportunities for us to support youth groups interested in making a positive impact on our environment.”



For more information on planned giving, please visit the Legacy Gifts page.

Planting Pits for Tomorrow: An Explanation of an Endowment Fund
By Les Garner, President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

Years ago, while I was still President of Cornell College, a good friend of the College, Marie Carter, gave me some peaches grown on her farm in Bettendorf. She encouraged me to plant the pits that autumn to try to grow my own peach trees. I duly planted the pits, and in the spring, I had three peach seedlings, which I planted on my farm near Ely. I have had the pleasure of watching those trees grow and flourish. Some 20 feet tall, they now generate hundreds of peaches every year. What’s more, I have planted pits from those peaches and grown more than 20 new seedlings, some of which I have planted on the farm and some of which I have given away.

An endowment gift, no matter how small, is like one of those delicious Iowa peaches. It brings pleasure in the present, and when invested wisely, will grow and produce income forever, providing benefits to its community in perpetuity.