300,000 acorns to start urban tree farm in Davenport

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The City of Davenport and Living Lands and Waters are teaming up to create an urban tree farm in the Quad Cities.

"People can come in, enjoy it, have lunch there, see the trees grow, read about different oak trees. It's just going to be really cool, really exciting, and a nice place to go visit," said Ashley Stover, coordinator of the Million Trees Project for Living Lands and Waters.

The goal of the Million Trees Project is to plant one million trees along the Mississippi and Ohio River watersheds. So far, volunteers have planted 745,000 oaks.

"They're hard woods, so they're really good along the river. They provide food, acorns, nuts for wildlife, and shelter for wildlife. Oak trees have a great, giant root system that helps to hold the soil and everything in place," said Stover.

Currently, Living Lands and Waters buys those trees from a nursery in Missouri. Now, the City of Davenport has donated the land for the group to grow their own.

Friday, the site off Eastern Avenue in Davenport, next to the Eastern Branch Library, was little more than a muddy field. On Wednesday, though, volunteers will plant 300,000 acorns on the one-acre site to create the Interpretive Urban Tree Farm.

Those acorns will produce around 120,000 oak trees. Volunteers will then be needed to help control weeds at the site and harvest the trees after two years of growing.

"Volunteers are always contacting us, wanting to do more and more, so we're bringing more and more projects here to the Quad Cities locally for people to help out with," said Stover.

A groundbreaking tree planting is planned for Wednesday, April 30, 2014, from 9 a.m. until noon to get the tree farm officially underway.

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