In Iowa, the highest rates of unemployment are among young people, age 16-19, at rates of 16.5% and African-American and Hispanic youth experiencing unemployment rates of 14.8% and 9%, respectively. Trees Forever’s Growing Futures program employs youth to plant trees, addressing critical social, economic, and environmental needs in Des Moines, IA. In partnership with the City of Des Moines and Microsoft, Growing Futures takes a thoughtfully designed and hands-on approach to address workforce development needs, provide a path to green careers, and plant more trees. The project’s vision is to grow the city’s tree canopy by planting more trees and caring for existing trees. Tree plantings are located on property owned by the City of Des Moines, with a mix of street tree and park plantings. The project engages youth of diverse backgrounds and focus their work on under-resourced communities that lack tree cover and grow a tree canopy that provides real and lasting benefits for generations to come. Through this project, Growing Futures youth plant and care for trees in underserved communities. The location of these tree plantings will improve equitable distribution of tree benefits to all neighborhoods. As trees grow and thrive, the trees will improve residents’ quality of life. This project will deliver quantified and reportable CO2 sequestration, stormwater reductions, energy savings, and air quality improvements. The program provides an opportunity to employ young people to care for our environment, and build the whole person through career readiness opportunities, so that the entire community reaps the benefits.