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Metro Waste Authority helping communities replace trees destroyed by derecho


Metro Waste Authority is helping communities in Central Iowa replace trees that were lost in last summer’s derecho. In a news release, officials with the agency announced that 2,950 tree seedlings will be arriving in Alleman, Altoona, Ankeny, Bondurant, Clive, Des Moines, Mitchellville, Runnels, Urbandale and West Des Moines by May 7. The seedlings are provided by Metro Waste Authority’s Tree Replacement Program, which was founded last October in response to the derecho. The agency offered up to 700 trees from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ State Forest Nursery to each of its member communities. In addition to the seedlings going to towns in the coming weeks, Johnston received 200 trees from the program in November. According to the DNR, the Aug. 10 storm that produced winds of up to 120 mph destroyed more than 724,000 acres of forest and millions of trees across the state. Metro Waste Authority Executive Director Michael McCoy said the agency saw the destruction firsthand with the amount of storm debris and yard waste collected at its landfills. “A key focus for our agency is environmental sustainability,” McCoy said. “The presence of trees helps reduce soil erosion, among other benefits, so seeing this vast destruction was concerning.”

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