Alliant Energy Branching Out Program Application

Branching Out is a nationally recognized grant program in which Alliant Energy, Trees Forever and your community work together to fund and implement community tree planting projects. The program is designed to encourage energy efficiency, volunteer involvement, environmental awareness and community stewardship in Iowa.
Branching Out is offered exclusively to Iowa communities where Alliant Energy provides electric and/or natural gas services. Alliant Energy provides grants of $1,000 to $10,000 for community-based tree planting projects including streets, schools, public buildings, trails, parks, entranceways, cemeteries, and more. Trees Forever administers the program by providing staff to help community leaders and volunteers complete successful long-lasting projects. 

To apply for a Branching Out grant, you are strongly encouraged to use the online application found below.  You may instead request a paper application from Deb Roman (1-800-369-1269, extension 110), but online applications are preferred.  A site plan and budget page must accompany your narrative.  The application process is competitive and preference is given to applicants that meet all guidelines.  Paper copies should be emailed or submitted via postal mail to Deb Roman, 770 7th Ave., Marion, IA, 52302. 
Grants are awarded two times per year, in preparation for the spring and fall planting seasons. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year, but are reviewed only in the next grant-making cycle (spring or fall). Your community may apply and receive funding for multiple projects in a single grant cycle.
Grant Cycle Application Deadline Grants Announced Funding Awarded
Spring November 1 January 15 March 1-31
Fall June 1 August 15 September 1-30
Please keep in mind the following details when preparing your grant application:
  • Projects are expected to include volunteer involvement, whether they plant the trees or help plan the project and planting day.  If your community does not have an active tree committee, please form an advisory committee that will help you plan your project.  
  • To accommodate volunteers of all ages and abilities, trees should be no larger than 1.5” caliper or 10 gal. container (shade trees) or 4’ or 10 gal. container (evergreens). This is adventageous because it is easier for volunteers to handle the trees and because it is likely that the trees will grow faster and do better.  Research has shown that because smaller trees experience less transplant shock, they are able to get established and begin growing more quickly than larger stock.
  • Tree species need to be on the recommended species list and must meet above maximum size requirements.  You must get a written approval from a Trees Forever field coordinator if you propose species not on the recommended list.
  • Projects need a completed budget page using this form.
  • A Trees Forever field coordinator can assist you in developing a project and/or application.
**You will not be able to save your progress on the application to come back to it later. Please read through the entire application below, gather all materials and draft narratives in preparation for submitting the form.  Once you start this online application, you will have 5 hours to complete it before the session is timed out. If it is timed out before you are done, you will need to start over.  Longer responses may be typed in a Word document which can be cut and pasted into the narrative fields.  File uploads must be smaller than 5MB.**
For more information on Branching Out, you can also visit


West Branch High students planted trees thanks to an Alliant Energy Branching Out grant! This was part of a school wide day of volunteering during Spring 2017.

Need Help?

The Trees Forever staff is available to help you complete applications, develop a planting project, and plan a planting event.  If you have questions, please call 1-800-369-1269 x 110 Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.