A photo showing Storm Lake volunteers planting trees at the Connell's Corner Gateway with the lighthouse in the background can be seen in the annual report published recently by Trees Forever.
The photo accents the Iowa's Living Roadways portion of the 2001 annual report. A few years ago, a group from the Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce took part in a "community visioning" project through this program, then later formed the chamber committee which eventually organized the gateway project. This also led to a nearly $10,000 grant from Trees Forever to help establish trees and native grasses at the gateway site.
Trees Forever, based in Marion, is a non-profit with the mission to promote the planting of trees and forests in "action-oriented programs that empower people, build community and promote environmental stewardship."
The local gateway committee is now in its second year of working to nurture buffalo grass and little bluestem plantings at the site east of Storm Lake. Committee leaders report good progress, but add that native grasses can take longer to establish than commercial grass. Wildflowers planted through Trees Forever funds could be seen in profusion for the first time this year at the west end of the lighthouse site.