Growing Futures: Planting Trees, Changing Lives

Trees Forever is excited to launch a new program called Growing Futures that will take a unique approach to caring for our community’s trees while employing young people. Through Growing Futures, teams of young people will help grow our tree canopy all while learning about the world around them and the potential within themselves. 


Growing Futures will have a powerful social and environmental impact because the program will prioritize 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 young people will plant, water and care for trees in Des Moines, with the goal to expand Growing Futures to other communities. With adult supervision and training, these young people will learn new skills that will position them to be future leaders in the community. 


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

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


GFT's will take part in weekly life skills training that will include:

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


Find out how you can support Growing Futures.