I can't think of a better way to benefit Trees Forever than by using wood from trees that were damaged during the August derecho. Obviously a group of students from Iowa BIG feels the same way.

According to a media release, Cedar Rapids lost over half its tree canopy, more than 23,000 trees, during the August 10 storm. It will be a very long time before Cedar Rapids, Marion, and other area cities resemble what they once looked like, and Trees Forever factors hugely into that restoration. That led Iowa BIG to start thinking about how they could help.

Iowa BIG students, high-schoolers that work on real-world projects to solve real-world issues while getting high school credit, have invited chainsaw artists from across the state to Marion next month. The artists will carve wood from trees damaged in the derecho into works of art in Marion Square from Saturday, November 14 through Friday, November 20. You'll be able to walk or drive by during this time, but anyone who enters Marion Square will have to wear a mask.

Once their work is complete, the finished pieces will be auctioned off HERE. The Splinters-Iowa Tree Art Auction will take place from Monday, November 23 through Sunday, November 29, the day of Marion's Artist Sunday celebration.

Of the money collected, forty percent will go to the artists and sixty percent will be given to Trees Forever. You can keep up with the event in the coming weeks HERE.

Kudos to all the students making this happen. They're Leah Ahlers, Connor French, Ella Schultz, Emma Gerlach, Lindsay Radack, and Lexi King. Their advisor is Mark Matson. Thank you all for helping the metro bounce back.