Unique partnership advancing urban forestry in Muscatine

(City of Muscatine)

The Vision Center, P.C., and the City of Muscatine Department of Parks and Recreation have partnered on a rather unique project to plant trees in Muscatine and the surrounding area. The Vision Center has been working with Parks and Recreation for the past several years to enhance Muscatine’s urban forestry.

The Vision Center has donated over 40 trees to the City of Muscatine during the past two years. Volunteers from the Vision Center and Parks and Recreation staff will be relocating those trees on April 27 from the greenhouse at Weed Park to the tree nursery where they will be cared for until needed at various locations throughout the city.

The current project began in 2022 with the Vision Center donating a tree to the Muscatine community with every purchase of Botaniq eyewear, and Botaniq pledging to plant one tree in partnership with One Tree Planted, a non-profit environmental charity on a mission of global reforestation.

“When the rep (Jan) came in with this new line, she explained what Tura was doing with planting a tree for every frame sold,” Tawnya Strause of the Vision Center said when the project was initiated in 2022. “It inspired us to do the same thing for our community. Not only are the glasses unique but the company was wanting to help with replacing trees for our planet and so does Vision Center.”

An initial tree planting was held September 20, 2022, inside Riverside Park with the assistance of Parks and Recreation Park staff. One larger tree was purchased to start the program and 25 saplings were purchased from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that were allowed to grow in the Weed Park greenhouse.


 The City of Muscatine has received the Tree City USA Award for 32 consecutive years behind the efforts of the Parks and Recreation staff to develop and maintain an urban forest. The award is presented by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Here are just a few of the many advantages that a thriving urban forest offers a community:

  • Trees help absorb the sounds of traffic in urban areas by 40 percent.
  • Neighborhoods with trees are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without.
  • Trees reduce energy costs up to 25 percent by shading buildings and protecting them from winter winds.
  • Homes with trees have higher property values.
  • Green space plays a major role in improving mental and physical health.
  • Planting and maintaining trees absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change.