By Morgan Brown May 10, 2023

Can you think of a better way to spend Earth Day than planting trees to build heat resilience in your community for years to come? We can’t! 

On April 22, Defend Our Future’s Central College joined Trees Forever to partner with the City of Des Moines to plant over 100 trees. While Trees Forever provided the materials and tree planting expertise, Campus Ambassador Lauren Litterer educated attendees on the benefits of tree cover in densely populated cities, why equitable tree distribution is so important, and how the recently-passed climate law is making this all accessible. 

Trees, Trees, Trees

Part of Defend Our Future’s Seeding the Future campaign; this event focused on community stewardship and how empowering people to act on behalf of the place they live can translate into lasting climate benefits. Young people see the direness of a future without community-oriented climate solutions. Planting trees to create equitable green space access and heat resilience is an engaging way to build climate solutions right at home while also getting active and strengthening community ties.

On the event day, despite cold and snowy Iowa weather, over 50 volunteers showed up to plant trees! Buckets of water, various trees, soil, mulch, shovels, gloves, and safety equipment were provided – but the community members planted the seeds of their future. Here is what Lauren had to share from the day.



Campus Ambassador Q&A

What was your favorite part of the event?

My favorite part was watching everyone come together. People of different races, ages, and gender came out when it was snowing to help, which I think shows that people really care. People were playing music and just having a great time. It definitely put a smile on my face. 

Why do you think work like this is important?

I think it is important to get people together who have the same passions and interests to build a better tomorrow. Being with people who work together and share passions can help with a lot of climate anxiety and gives more ways of how you can get involved. It just shows that the “little projects” contribute to a much larger end goal. 

In what ways do you see events like this working to help the community regarding climate resilience? 

Like I said, even projects that seem “small” all contribute to a larger end goal and prepare for the inevitable. Things are bound to change in the next few decades, but I feel as though being with people who share passion, work to combat the inevitable, and spread awareness around climate change are the biggest things that people in a community can do to get involved.  



Looking forward

Tree planting allows community members to unite to serve something bigger than themselves. As Seeding the Future continues, we will have more tree-planting events nationwide to demonstrate enthusiasm, particularly among young people, for urban tree-planting funds. We are grateful for the partnership of Trees Forever and Defend Our Future will continue partnering with organizations to establish climate solutions that promote healthy, equitable and sustainable environments for all.