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Benchmark, Inc. is Growing: Employees Help Replace Trees

Benchmark, Inc. recently participated in the Monarch Research – Planting Forward program in an effort to replenish and rebuild flora destroyed during the derecho that hit the Cedar Rapids area in August 2020. Benchmark, Inc. employees planted 57 new native Iowa trees to replace those lost during the derecho.

Benchmark, Inc. President Ron Harriman commented, “The derecho impacted our company in many ways. Several of our associates encountered devastating damage to their properties. The Monarch Research – Planting Forward program is a win-win for everyone involved.”

Benchmark, Inc. associates pick up their trees. Left to Right: Ann Jeffries, Lisa Workman, Alvin Nunnikhoven

Planting Forward, a corporate regrowth and recovery program for Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities, is a grant program made available to Linn County residents in an effort to replant native Iowa trees that were lost in the 2020 derecho. Program participants learn about the importance of native trees for environmental, land stewardship, pollinator, and native plant community ecological consideration. A primary goal of the program is to create awareness among the public as to how important it is to not only replant trees, but to replant the right trees.

On August 10, 2020, Cedar Rapids, IA was hit by a derecho, destroying more than 50% of the tree canopy and damaging at least 8,000 homes. This storm system affected 340 communities in 27 counties in Iowa. The Monarch Research – Planting Forward program has distributed nearly 30,000 native trees between Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Companies in Linn County are invited to participate in the Program.

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