The MillionTrees Project was initiated in 2007 to help further our mission to protect, preserve and restore the natural environment of our nation’s major rivers and their watersheds. Our mission is to not only clean up the riverways, but to also enhance the watershed by planting native trees and removing invasive plants.
In 2007, we started collecting and planting acorns with a goal of growing one million trees. We reached that goal in 2016 and now we’re shooting for another million!
In May 2014, we broke ground on our new tree nursery located at 6000 Eastern Avenue in Davenport, IA. After two to three growing seasons, the trees are harvested and new acorns are planted each fall.
Thank you all for your continued support!
MillionTrees Project Goals
- To grow and plant one million+ trees
- Re-establish native, nut-bearing, hardwood trees along waterways and within communities
- Provide shelter and a viable food source for wildlife and migratory birds
- Increase biodiversity
- Help reduce erosion and run-off
- Improve water and air quality
- Create an awareness regarding the value of planting native hardwoods
How can I volunteer?
We have wrapped up all events for 2019, but rest assured, LL&W will be looking for volunteers of all ages to help harvest, wrap and prepare trees for the 2020 season. Stay tuned!
Why is this project important?
Over the last 150 years, there has been a decline in tree diversity along the shorelines of the Midwest’s mightiest rivers as hardwood trees (such as oaks, hickories, pecan, paw paw, etc.) have been depleted for fuel and building materials, and by flooding and disease. Everyone assumes that there is an abundance of wildlife on the river but many species have nearly disappeared because of the absence of food as the trees that currently exist on the river have little or no food value for wildlife.
The MillionTrees Project will only plant trees that produce nuts and fruit so that ducks, songbirds, squirrels, wild turkeys, etc. have a viable food source. These strong hardwoods also create a wonderful habitat for wildlife and nesting birds.
The roots of trees act as filters. Especially when planted along waterways, these roots can help reduce the amount of pollution and run-off entering our creeks, rivers and streams.
Trees grow long and strong roots in order to keep them in place. These same roots also help keep the ground in place and reduce erosion. Diversifying the current makeup of trees along our shorelines and in our communities increases the opportunities for beneficial wildlife and insects to live. It also helps protect against viruses, bores, etc. that could otherwise deplete an entire forest that’s made up of just one or two species.
Trees filter the air we breathe. By absorbing carbon, they reduce the impacts of climate change and the leaves also produce oxygen for us to breathe.
When planted along shorelines and islands, these trees produce shade over our waterways, keeping them cool for aquatic life and reducing the intensity of algae blooms and eutrophication of our waters. They also keep humans and wildlife safe and cool during hot and steamy summers.
Aside from all the health and wildlife benefits, trees are just plain beautiful and increase aesthetics everywhere they are planted.
Perhaps the most important part of this project is the community involvement. Thousands of volunteers annually help LL&W with packaging and planting trees throughout the Midwest.
How can I request trees?
To be placed on the notification list to request trees for the 2020 season, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detailed species information & planting instructions.
- 12-24 inch tall bare root saplings
- Plant at least 10-20 feet apart; 30 feet from buildings or power lines
- Tree guards and/or rabbit wire is recommended
- Please request only as many as you can plant and care for
- Review tree species info to determine which type to plant
Click here for a downloadable version of our Planting/Care instructions. This year will be Red Oak, Swamp White Oak, and Bur Oak.
To learn more or to get involved, please email Matt at email@example.com!