Living Lands & Waters is back in local Quad Cities schools with its MillionTrees Project, kicking off three weeks of school engagements at middle- and high schools. Along with volunteers from AmeriCorps, LL&W staff will host tree-wrapping events at schools across the Quad Cities to support its annual campaign to plant native hardwood trees throughout the Mississippi River Watershed.

Beginning with Geneseo High School and Geneseo Middle School this week, Living Lands & Waters will spend at least one day at each school with thousands of bare-root saplings to be wrapped for transport and distribution. In the last two days, they have wrapped 8,673 trees which is amazing, says LL&W’s Tree Nursery Manager Andrew Layer in a news release.

Living Lands & Waters has distributed and planted more than 1.6 million trees through the MillionTrees Project since its inception in 2007. For most of those years, LL&W crew have been visiting local schools in the early spring to conduct some of the tree prep, giving students a unique hands-on opportunity to participate in the program.

Teachers from QC high and middle schools enjoy the chance to get their students actively involved in the process while learning about the benefits of native trees in the environment – food for birds, shade for people, and habitat for hundreds of native species across the region.

The past two years of COVID-19 restrictions have meant that LL&W could not make their visits to schools, and the crew is eager to get back into the rhythm of working with students to launch the MillionTrees Project planting season, the release says. They look forward to working with teachers who have long been part of the annual tree-wrapping events.

After this week’s events in Geneseo, LL&W crew will host school engagements at Riverdale High School, West Carroll High School, Davenport North, Davenport West, Washington Middle School, John Deere Middle School, and Moline High School.

In years past, LL&W has distributed trees to local schools, businesses, churches, individuals, and parks throughout the Quad Cities. The organization also hosts volunteer events at its nursery in Davenport.

Living Lands & Waters has a goal of distributing more than 150,000 trees in 2022.