WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO13) -- Nearly a year after a derecho caused devastation across Iowa, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources believes it will take a full generation for our ecosystem to recover from the storm.
A new report from the DNR estimates the derecho wiped out more than four million trees across central and eastern Iowa. The agency believes the lack of trees could cause Iowa’s air quality to plummet, hurt our flood mitigation ability, and that regrowing the lost trees could take decades.
The DNR is encouraging all Iowans to plant new trees as soon as they can.
“We just need to keep tree replanting in the forefront of our minds. As we feel those effects — the increased costs of air conditioning, the heat outside, the air quality as it diminishes — I think that will continue to push tree planting,” said Nick McGrath, Iowa DNR Disaster Recovery Coordinator.
The DNR is also offering some monetary grants to encourage communities to plant trees.