Growing Futures

A note regarding COVID-19: 

Thank you to everyone who applied for our spring session of Growing Futures . We’re thrilled by how many of you want to join our team and make a difference in your community.


We are monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 virus very closely. The virus will likely impact when and how we’re able to work this spring. We’re not sure how big that impact will be yet - this may mean fewer work days, a smaller crew or the canceling of the spring session in total.


For now, hold tight. The situation is changing rapidly every day. You will hear from us soon about the next steps in the application process and about how this spring will play out. Our hope is to have a firm plan in place by April 3rd and we will keep you updated.

Trees Forever’s Growing Futures job employment program takes a unique approach to caring for our community’s trees. Through Growing Futures, teams of teenagers are employed to help grow our tree canopy all while learning about the world around them and the potential within themselves. 
Growing Futures has a powerful social and environmental impact because the program prioritizes 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 teenagers plant, water and care for trees in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, with the goal to expand Growing Futures to other communities. With adult supervision and training, these teenagers learn new skills that will position them to be future leaders in the community. 



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

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


Teammates take part in weekly professional development training that includes:

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


Growing Futures

Applications are currently closed.


Des Moines Growing Futures is proudly sponsored by:

  • The City of Des Moines
  • Microsoft
  • Wright Tree Service
  • Wright Outdoor Solutions
  • Prairie Meadows


Cedar Rapids Growing Futures is proudly sponsored by:

  • City of Cedar Rapids
  • Transamerica
  • Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation
  • United Fire Group
  • Alliant Energy



Read about us in the Cedar Rapids Gazette!


Learn more about Growing Futures


Click here to support Growing Futures